Safety First News

Winter Driving Tips That Could Save Your Life

Safety First News
December 18, 2016

Winter is a beautiful time of year, but it can also be a dangerous time for drivers who traverse icy and snowy roads to share the holidays with loved ones. Follow these safe driving tips to assure the final destination is reached safely.

  • Check the weather conditions before driving -adjust plans and the route accordingly.
  • Remove snow and ice from all windows, lights, hood and roof of the vehicle before departure.
  • Check the tailpipe to ensure snow or ice has not blocked it.
  • Leave more room for stopping than usual (compared with ideal driving conditions). Look farther down the road than usual.
  • Keep in mind that posted speed limits are in place for ideal driving conditions.
  • Use brakes cautiously by braking early. It takes more time and distance to stop vehicles in icy/snowy conditions.
  • Slow down before reaching a bridge because bridges freeze first.
  • Exit ramps can be dangerously icy in the winter because not as much anti-icing material is used on exit ramps compared with the main road. Remember to gradually reduce speed before exiting.
  • Cruise control should not be used while driving in wintery conditions.
  • Driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle doesn’t mean the vehicle can’t slide. 4x4 vehicles can get going quicker in slippery conditions, but they don’t stop any quicker than 2-wheel drive vehicles. Actually, many 4-wheel drive vehicles are heavier than 2-wheel drive vehicles, which means they will likely take longer to stop. Resist overconfidence while driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle in ice or snow.
  • Before entering traffic on a slippery road, require more space to an approaching vehicle. Keep in mind that vehicles, especially trucks, will need more time to safely respond and potentially stop to avoid a collision.
  • Give emergency, law enforcement and maintenance vehicles a wide berth. Move over and made room for roadside vehicles, approaching emergency vehicles and stay back at least 200 feet from snowplows and de-icing trucks. Never pass a snowplow on the right side.
  • Please remember to slow down. Leave early so there is no temptation to rush.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times by all occupants- it’s the law.
  • Finally, keep in mind that alcohol and drugs do not mix well with driving. Get a reliable designated driver.
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