Driving during the winter can be terrifying, particularly where blizzard and icy conditions seemingly appear out of nowhere.
While there are new automated safety technologies being added to vehicle, the man or woman behind the wheel is still the biggest safety factor for any vehicle. Therefore, it’s important for you to adopt a winter driving mindset and stay safe until spring.
Please consider the following winter safety driving tips to stay safe throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Always check the latest forecast and radar
Thanks to smartphone technology and the internet, all of us have access to a sophisticated weather station. Even if the morning’s forecast is for clear skies, weather can change rapidly in winter so be sure to check the latest local forecast and radar before heading out the door.
If the forecast seems questionable, try to wait out the bad weather. However, if you need to travel, make sure you talk about your travel plans and route with someone prior to leaving.
Winterize your car
Getting your vehicle ready for winter is one of those things you might put off, and put off. Then, the snow starts flying and you’re driving with bad tires and a battery that could go at any moment.
Winterizing your vehicle is about more than just avoiding a call to the tow truck. It could mean living through a life-and-death situation. If your battery dies in the middle of a blizzard or your tires lose their grip on the road, putting off getting your vehicle ready for winter suddenly seems very foolish.
Before the weather gets bad, be sure to check your brakes, wiring, fan belts, spark plugs, air filters, battery, tire status and antifreeze level. Have an emergency kit with jumper cables, road flares, a good spare tire, bag of salt or kitty litter (for traction if you get stuck), flashlight, non-perishable foods, blankets and winter clothing such as mittens, wool socks and hats.
Adopt best practices for winter driving
Checking the forecast and winterizing your vehicle won’t make much of a difference if you don’t drive safely. Here are a few best practices for winter driving:
- Be sure to remain attentive and steer with purpose at all times.
- Don’t slam on the accelerator or the brake pedal.
- Keep about 15 to 18 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Give yourself an extra 200 feet to come to a complete stop.
- Keep your gas tank at least half-full.
- If you get stranded in a strange area, do not leave your vehicle. Light flares in front of and behind your vehicle. If you want to run your engine, be sure your tail pipe is cleared of snow and ice. Don’t try to push your vehicle out of the snow by yourself.
If you are looking for a new career opportunity this winter and you’re concerned about winter driving, please contact NSC Technologies today to find out what options we have available.