Winters are tough. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice and sleet can ruin a day of plans. It is during these months that we should take note of driver awareness best practices to stay safe on the roads. These are some of the most simple and impactful driver awareness tips and recommendations.
Know your vehicle’s condition
Knowing that your car is in working order is key to road safety. Checking tire tread depth and tire pressure is a simple step to better traction in the snow. All cars and trucks have these tire standards printed inside the driver-side door panel. Also remember to check your headlights, brakes and fluids. Addressing any problems before the storm will help if travel is needed.
Seat belts save lives
WEAR YOUR SEATBELT, and make sure any children always wear their seat belts. Did you know passengers are 25 percent more likely to be ejected from a vehicle if they are not wearing their seat belt? It’s a simple thing to do, buckle up.
Keep your windshield and windows clean
In winter, road salt and brines can create a thick gray film that significantly reduces visibility. Check your windshield washer fluid and wiper blades to ensure they are in good working order. When the windshield becomes dirty, clean it every opportunity you have. Additionally, products like Rain-X are great options for snow and rain to improve visibility when driving.
Blankets, flares and spares, oh my!
Winter storms can be unpredictable, do you remember the Clooney/Wahlberg classic, The Perfect Storm? If you become stranded, you might need to stay in your car or truck far longer than you anticipated. Be prepared. When travel is necessary, make sure your automobile is stocked with the following items:
- Spare tires (inflated appropriately)
- Blankets, extra gloves, hats and coats.
- Jumper cables – winter is hard on our car’s battery
Always remember if you keep your car running for warmth, clear snow away from the exhaust, and monitor your gas levels. An out-of-gas car will lose heat very quickly. If you have an EV, make sure it’s fully charged. To learn more, visit the National Highway Safety Winter Driving page.
No matter how good a driver you are, accidents can occur at any time. Inclement winter weather only adds to the probability of accidents. Being prepared and staying alert will help you and your passengers make it safely to your destination this winter.