Safety Road Tips To Maintain This Winter
Driving in the snow creates a lot of challenges for drivers. The combination of wet, slippery, and poor vision can be tricky, and the chances of getting an accident are very high. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a heavy snowstorm or enough snow coating the road, icy and slippery spots are difficult to see. You may not be aware of the hazards on the road until it’s too late.
Even the most experienced drivers may not be prepared for what nature has in store for you. While on the road, it only takes a single mistake, and you may hit other cars or be hit by another car. However, you can still use these tips to ensure you are safe on the roads this winter.
Winterize your car
During winter driving on the snow and wet roads can take a toll on your car. You should prepare your vehicle for the harsh cold conditions. Ensure that your vehicle is fully serviced before going out on the icy roads. You can start by doing the following:
Battery – battery power will decrease as the temperatures go lower. This means every time you start your car; you will be using more battery power. If you already have battery issues, it’s better to take care of it or replace your battery because of the chances of a breakdown increase.
Cooling system – ensure you maintain a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze and water. Ask your mechanic for the proper antifreeze for your car.
Brakes – while the cold weather won’t necessarily affect your brakes but it’s better to have them inspected to ensure they are in top condition because you need them on the road when driving.
Spark plugs, belts, cables, and wires – these can wear out at any time in the year, but if they don’t work during a winter night when you are out driving, you could be stuck on the cold road for a very long time.
Put winter tires
It’s possible to use other tires, but these won’t offer you the maximum protection you need when driving on wet and slippery roads. If you know you will be driving out in the snow almost daily, it is better to get winter tires. When the weather goes too low, the rubber on standard tires hardens, decreasing the tire’s ability to grip the road.
Winter tires are specially made to resist hardening in extremely cold weather, which provides better traction in ice, slush, snow, and even dry pavements.
Remember also to ensure you maintain your tire pressures. Ensure you check your tires before you drive out, and you should fill up the pressure as needed.
Stock up your vehicle before driving in winter conditions
Winter conditions are unpredictable. They can change anytime chances of accidents are high, so you should always ensure you are prepared. Most importantly, store your car with gloves, a warm blanket, and an extra warm jacket if you get stranded on the road. They would come in handy to keep you warm.
Don’t forget to have reflectors and markers you can place on the road if your car stalls to warn other motorists. Other things you should stock up on are :
- Spare tire
- Jumper cables
- Tire changing tools
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Reflective triangles
- Well-equipped first aid kit
- Duct tape
- Fire extinguisher
- Phone charger
- Ice scraper
- Canned foods
- Windshield washer fluids
- Rain poncho
Increase the space between cars and reduce your speed when driving
While on the road, ensure you maintain a low speed and enough space between you and other vehicles. Visibility may be compromised, or the other car may skid off the road. When anything happens, you don’t want to be right on their ass. It may end up you crashing on them or worse.
Allowing enough distance between you and other vehicles will also give you a few extra seconds to react in case of anything. Plus, if you need to brake suddenly, you will have enough space to do so. Vehicles and motorcycles need around three seconds to stop after they hit the emergency brakes.
Avoid driving on bridges and overpasses because those areas are usually extra icy and more dangerous. If you can use an alternative route and avoid them, you may increase your chances of being safe on the winter road.
Ensure you check for a change in temperatures before leaving to see if it will affect traction
Before driving out for a long winter road trip, ensure you check to see how temperatures may change while you are out. Changes in temperatures can affect your driving ability and traction if there is an unexpected temperature change you were not prepared for.
For example, when driving in zero-degree cold weather, your driving skills are much more different than how you would drive when the weather is at 32 degrees. You generally have better traction when driving at zero-degree weather than at 32-degree weather because surfaces get even more slippery when the winter temperatures are higher.
Keep your washer fluid full
Remember to replace your windshield washer fluid. If you are caught up in a snowstorm, you can exhaust a whole bottle of the fluid, so ensure you refill it frequently with windshield wiper fluids specially formulated for winter conditions.
If you are unsure of whether the washer fluid you have in your car is suitable for winter, you can go to the auto shop and buy one specifically for winter conditions; they do come in handy out in the snow.
Install winter wipers
Winter wipers are installed with rubber that stops the ice from collecting on the blades. They are great at clearing your windshield, especially when it is snowing, because you need to maintain visibility while on the road.
However, remember to remove them when it is springtime because they are usually heavier than regular wipers. Using them almost all year round may take a toll on the wiper motor.
It is essential to maintain road safety during winter to avoid accidents. However, if you do get into an accident, whether minor or severe, ensure to get personal injury law advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.