Every responsible driver should look out for seasonal hazards before taking their vehicle on the road. Each season comes with its own challenges, but right now we shall discuss the risks of driving in winter. The countries closer to the North or South Pole are subject to harsher winter weather than those near the equator. If your region receives heavy snow, fog, and rainfall during the colder months of the year, you need to exercise extra caution on the streets and highways. Below are a few tips to prevent a car crash or traffic collision during winter:
Plan the journey in advance
Winter road conditions are likely to slow you down, so you may have to start the journey earlier than normal. You need to figure out the safest route, even if it implies travelling a longer distance. If you are travelling to another state by road, add several hours to the timeline to make up for multiple delays.
Stay up-to-date with weather conditions along your route
If you are planning a long road trip in winter, the first thing to do is check the weather forecast. The sky and land may seem clear at the moment, but you should make sure that it will remain that way throughout the journey. It is best to postpone the trip if there is exists the possibility for a hail storm.
Prepare your vehicle
The first step is to clear your vehicle of ice and grimy water. The windshields should be squeaky clean in order to eliminate visibility issues; also replace your wiper blades if they look rusty. Check your battery and top it up, so that it doesn’t freeze or stop working in the middle of the journey. Invest in winter tires that provide greater traction on wet and icy roads. You may add antifreeze to keep your vehicle warm and running through the harsh weather.
Install high beam head and back lights to increase the visibility of your vehicle. Dark and murky winters can make it hard for other travelers to spot you from a distance during day and night. Dense fog may further hinder sight of incoming traffic.
Drive slow and steady
Many auto accidents during winter occur due to speeding. It is recommended to drive slightly below the speed limit in harsh cold weather. Dense fog or hail may conceal traffic and obstacles ahead. In addition, frozen or wet roads reduce traction, which may result in skidding. Driving slowly will help maintain balance and prevent forceful collisions. Do not make sharp turns or swerves; always signal before you change course.
Maintain greater distance
Slippery roads can delay halting after hitting the brakes. The rule of thumb is to maintain a distance of one car during normal conditions, so make that 2 cars during wet season. Tailgating on slippery roads may result in severe rear end crashes.
Stay Alert and Focused
Regardless of the season, you must be fully awake and sober when you take the wheel. Look out for black ice and potholes on the road. Do not allow yourself to be distracted, and remain aware of your surroundings. If you notice any reckless driver on the road, try to report them to the traffic police. If you get involved in a car accident with a careless winter driver, Florida Personal Injury Attorney can help you file your compensation claim.