It goes without saying that winter driving can be more dangerous than at others times of the year. Slippery roads and limited visibility dampen one’s ability to drive safely, but there are also winter road hazards that some individuals may not be as familiar with. Let’s take a look at some of the most common road hazards and what you can do to improve your winter driving experience.
· Rain, snow and ice: These wintertime staples can lead to slippery road conditions. The degree of slipperiness can be affected by type of precipitation and varying temperature changes during precipitation and/or winter storms. If you begin to slip, remove your foot from the pedals and steer in the direction your car is sliding. If you need a boost of traction, pour salt or kitty litter around your tires.
· Drifting snow: Drifted snow is more densely packed than fallen snow. Because of this, deep snow drifts can lift cars up off the road and strand them. See below for emergency kit items that will get you through being stranded.
· Diminished visibility: Conditions out of your control, such as sleet, rain and snowfall, can affect driving visibility. However, there are easy ways to improve your chances of clearer winter vision. Thoroughly de-icing your windows and mirrors will assist with your ability to see in all directions while driving. And don’t forget your headlights. They should also be brushed free of ice and changed regularly to ensure that they remain bright and functioning. This not only improves your own visibility, but also helps other drivers see you on the road. Turn your headlights on during any form of precipitation and when the weather is misty or grey.
· Tires and battery: Tires loose air pressure faster in cold temperatures. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure monthly and fill them as need, according to your owner’s manual. Before winter hits, check the tread on your tires. They’ll need replacing if the tread has worn down. Batteries over three years old should be replaced, as the cold can impair a battery’s ability to start a car. Have your battery properly checked and replaced if needed.
· Plan for emergencies: You should always plan for the worst. Anyone can become stranded in a car for hours during poor winter driving conditions. Pack an emergency kit, which can include items such as blankets, protein-rich food, bottled water, weather radio, salt or kitty litter, road flares, jumper cables and any other items you see fit.
Stay safe while driving down harsh winter roads. Call Security First Associated Agency Inc. at (810) 732-5800 for more information on Flint auto insurance.