The winter months are once again upon us! We hope these tips and suggestions for avoiding accidents in winter weather will come to mind when you need them.
It’s no surprise that vehicle accidents increase in the winter months when the roads are icy and snow-covered. The most common causes of winter car accidents are slippery roads, low visibility, and poor vehicle condition.
To avoid accidents in winter weather, prepare!
It’s good to plan for winter driving before ice and snow cover the roads. Preparation is even more advisable in areas where the weather tends to change drastically in a short time. Consider putting a “winter survival kit” in your car. Include things like a flashlight, water, snacks, warm clothes, jumper cables, and road flares.
Think ahead before winter weather arrives.
- Have a basic set of emergency tools in the car.
- Keep a good ice scraper in your vehicle.
- Put at least one blanket in the car to keep warm in case your car becomes stuck.
- Keep your fuel tank at least half full all the time.
- Check tire pressure frequently. When the weather gets cold, tire pressure drops, which causes deflation and poor handling.
- Maintain your vehicle well in the winter months, and don’t postpone necessary repairs. Monitor the condition of tires, brakes, headlights, and wipers, make sure you have a charged battery, and check all fluid levels regularly.
Clean windows are the key.
- Start your car and turn on the front and rear defrost if there is any frost, ice, or snow on the windows.
- Entirely clear all windows – front, back, and sides. Avoiding accidents in winter weather depends on being able to see clearly.
Tips for avoiding accidents while driving in winter weather:
- Never use your cell phone when driving on snow and ice, and limit any other distractions.
- Drive much more slowly than usual.
- To avoid a car hitting you from behind, use your turn signals well in advance of a turn.
- Hold onto the steering wheel with both hands for more control.
- Maintain safe driving distance from the car in front, increasing distance as speed increases. If you’re driving 60 miles per hour, maintain 90 feet (18 car lengths) between cars; or 104 feet (24 car lengths) if you’re going 70 mph.
- Be extra cautious at intersections, even when you have the green light. On icy roads, drivers may not be able to stop or try to make it through a yellow light to avoid skidding.
- Don’t slam the brakes. Many winter weather accidents occur from skidding on slick roads. To stop a vehicle with anti-lock brakes, press firmly on the pedal. To stop safely without anti-lock brakes, pump the pedal gently.
- Try not to turn the steering wheel abruptly. If you start to skid, turn into the spin. In other words, turn the wheel in the direction that the back of the car is skidding.
Driving on ice and snow is unpredictable, so avoiding accidents in winter weather takes some planning and preparation. But even prepared, experienced drivers can have an accident on snowy, icy roads. After a winter weather accident, if you need high-risk insurance, contact UltraCar Insurance, a brokerage insurance company with 15 years of experience. We specialize in providing SR22 insurance in 34 states and FR44 insurance in Florida and Virginia.