Tips for Avoiding Winter Car Accidents
For anyone living in a climate that eventually becomes cold, snowy and icy, the concern of accidently finding yourself in a single car or multi-car accident is very real as the winter months approach. While accidents happen and cannot all be prevented, there are steps you can take to decrease your likelihood of finding yourself in a winter weather-related car accident. Here are some tips:
- Invest in snow tires (or at least make sure you are not driving on bald tires). Snow tires can help you to maintain better control of your car on snow-covered roads.
- Become familiar with the art of loose steering. The easiest way to stop an out-of-control car is to shift into neutral and slowly guide your car back in the direction it should be going.
- Avoid cruise control when the weather is dangerous – or better yet, save cruise control for the warmer months.
- Slamming your brakes on when you are sliding will not work. Brake gently if you feel your car starting to slide.
- Use your headlights during the day. Snow, rain and ice tend to decrease visibility, plus your headlights will make it easier for others to see you.
- Don’t drive when you don’t need to. If the weather is bad and you don’t have to go out, stay home. The trip to the mall can always wait another day.
- Don’t tailgate other drivers.
- Slow down on bridges and overpasses – they tend to freeze first.
- Don’t think you are invincible. Anyone can experience an accident.
- Look at least 3-4 cars ahead of you to increase your reaction time. If you only pay close attention to the car in front of you, you may end up braking too late to avoid a collision.
- Keep your cell phone out of your hand and focus on the road.