Driving on ice and snow can be a real danger, and it is tough to operate an automobile safely in these road conditions. Some people who live in areas that get a lot of snow think that they are experts but may actually break some of the most basic safety rules when it comes to winter driving. It is important to always do all that you can to stay safe on icy and snowy roads, whether you are an experienced winter driver or someone experiencing their first snowy winter, but there will always be car accidents and insurance.
Avoid Unnecessary Winter Driving
Probably the best tip of all for staying safe in the wintertime is to avoid driving altogether. If you can manage this it is ideal to just stay at home and off the road. But most of us have work or class or somewhere important to be, so we have to just deal with the roads and try to make the best of things. Learning and applying some basic tips for operating an automobile during this time of the year can help you stay safe and avoid trouble out on the road.
Tire Traction and Pressure
Make sure your tires have adequate tread left on them. In some areas of the country, it is advisable to ahead and get snow tires (which are also called winter tires). Even all season tires may not perform up to your expectation in the winter, particularly when their tread is worn down. Get the right tires for the job and always make sure you keep an eye on the air pressure in the tires. In the cold weather, tires can lose pressure even if they do not have any leaks, so it is important to keep up with this and to keep them properly inflated so you’re not riding around on the sidewalls.
Winter Auto Safety Checks
There are other areas in the automobile that are also important to check out to make sure the car is roadworthy. For example, the wiper blades should be in good condition and the fluid reservoir full. The heat and defrost should be functional, and all lights including brakes, turn signals, and hazards should be checked from time to time. Also check the brakes, especially with ABS systems. Learn how to brake through a skid and use your brakes to help you stay safe. There are different techniques to use for cars equipped with antilock braking systems and for those that do not have ABS; learn to know the difference an d be aware of the equipment in your car, making sure you know how to use it and that your brakes are in proper working order.
Dealing with Icy Roads
Black ice is a common road hazard that is very tough to deal with. It is basically transparent ice that is especially hard to spot on asphalt. Test out the road surface you are on with a smooth application of your brake or by turning the wheel slightly to see if there is black ice present, but don’t overdo it and cause yourself trouble. Dealing with ice is something that we all have to go through every winter, and while there are certain techniques that can help you avoid losing control when you hit the skids, the best technique of all is to drive slower and give yourself plenty of extra time to stop in order to avoid skidding or sliding in the first place. Taking extra caution is really the best antidote for driving in snow out on the roads in the middle of winter, so be careful and avoid accidents and car insurance claims.