Winter is here and winter driving can be very dangerous. While winter tires are proven to improve your winter safety, they aren’t a guaranteed method for avoiding winter crashes. Here are ten winter crash prevention tips that you should follow to stay as safe as possible during the winter months:
1. Winterize Your Car
Before winter arrives, have your car winterized by a mechanic or at an auto shop that specializes in these types of services. This ensures there won’t be any safety recalls with your car this winter due to faulty parts or damage from accidents over the summer. Also make sure your oil changes are up-to-date so you have enough antifreeze in the winter months, which will protect against engine corrosion.
2. Get a Winter Driving Course
These winter driving courses are offered to drivers across the nation every winter season and can help you improve your winter driving skills, especially if you’re new to winter. The courses also give drivers an opportunity to learn about winter safety tips that will keep them safe on the road.
3. Be Cautious of Black Ice
Black ice is common during the winter months and is very dangerous, so it’s important to be cautious of where you drive. It’s best not to drive on roads covered in black ice because they are extremely slippery. If you see black ice ahead of time, break slowly or change lanes so you don’t hit it directly. Be sure others can see you if possible.
4. Dress The Part
It’s important to dress properly for winter because car accidents happen most often during poor weather conditions or winter storms. To stay safe, wear warm winter clothing and layers so you can remove them if needed if your car breaks down or gets stuck in a snowbank. Wearing a winter coat with reflective materials will keep you visible to other drivers as well.
5. Slow Down
As long as roads aren’t covered in ice, it’s best to slow down when driving. Avoid taking high speeds on icy roads and reduce speed even more around curves, bridges and other slippery areas where there is less traction. If you need to brake quickly, tap your brakes instead of trying to brake hard.
6. Stop For Winter Storms
Winter crashes are more common during winter storms, so it’s important to drive cautiously near winter storm areas. If you see a winter storm headed your way or if winter weather begins, pull over into a parking lot or off the road immediately and wait until the winter storm calms down before resuming driving.
7. Keep an Eye on The Weather Forecast
It’s impossible to avoid being in dangerous winter driving conditions all together, but it is possible to reduce your risk by staying updated with winter weather reports. This will let you know what kind of winter conditions are ahead so you can prepare accordingly. It’s important not to rely solely on winter weather reports because winter storms can occur unexpectedly and winter travel conditions can change within minutes.
8. Don’t Drive Through Flooded Areas
If local news warns of flooding, don’t attempt to drive through it because you could risk not only your safety but also the safety of other drivers. Also be aware that winter flooding is common during winter months and floods happen quickly, so roads may be very dangerous if the water isn’t visible beforehand.
9. Pull Over as Soon as You Can Safely Do So
The best way to avoid winter crashes is to slow down before winter driving becomes dangerous. If you start skidding while driving, look for a safe place to pull over and stop your car immediately. If braking is ineffective, do not brake hard because your car could end up in a snowbank, which could make it harder for you to get out of.
10. Make Sure Your Winter Tires Are Properly Inflated
To maximize safety during winter driving conditions, use winter tires. Make sure those tires are correctly inflated because crashes can occur if they aren’t. Be sure to check the air pressure every month as well as inspect tires for any damage or leaks before winter begins each year. Inflating tires with air that’s too low is dangerous and will make it easier for them to blowout when being used. In addition, tire chains should be used only on rear wheel drive vehicles unless they’re specifically designed for winter driving conditions.
If you follow these winter safety tips, you will be able to avoid winter crashes. Valley Collision is a full-service auto body repair shop that specializes in winter crash damage. Visit them online today at www.valleycollison.com for more information on winter car accidents and winter driving conditions .