It’s a fact of life that driving in the winter is a real hassle. The snow, ice, and even salt on the roads are very hazardous and not a fun experience. Even the best drivers tend to forget how to drive in the winter and end up in an accident.
It takes a change in driving habits and a few precautions to make sure that you are staying safe on the road. It will take longer to get to your destination, but at least you’ll get there in one piece.
If you aren’t taking precautions then even having the best car insurance companies won’t help you avoid a very costly accident. In this article, we will go over the essential tips for safer driving in the winter.
1. Pump the brakes
Losing control of the car is very easy to have happened when the roads are slick. The tires can’t quite grip the road and the brakes end up locking up the wheels so you can’t control them.
The best way to combat this is to never press too hard on the brakes. Modern cars have anti-lock braking which does help, but pumping the brakes yourself is the best way to avoid the wheels not doing what you want.
This gives you some seconds when the tires are rotating and still able to be controlled. If you do end up locking up the tires and sliding without control, then take your foot off of the brakes and let them rotate once again.
Then, look in the direction that you are sliding so you can recover from the skid and avoid an accident.
2. Stick to the Middle
When you are driving on the highway, snow will tend to pile up on the edge lanes to the left and right. Staying in the middle lane will prevent you from losing traction in the snow that is building up.
Even on regular roads, try to stay away from the edge of the road for the same reason. There is also the danger of ice being unseen under a blanket of snow by the edge of the road as that is where water tends to puddle up.
3. Make Sure Your Wiper Blades Are New
Cars that are often driven in cold and snowy areas of the country often have tired, brittle windshield wipers. When it gets icy they have trouble clearing the window and ice even tends to build up on the blades.
This means you’re going to have a hard time seeing out of the windshield. Ice building up also makes the windshield fog up since the glass is colder due to the ice. Check your blades before winter sets in to avoid this from happening.
4. Plan Your Route
Take some time before setting out to plan where you will be driving. Looking online ahead of time will alert you to any road closures or accidents to avoid getting stuck somewhere.
You should also plan to take major roads when possible even if it takes you a little out of the way. They are the first to be plowed so there’s less risk of getting stuck.