Problems always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. Sufficient planning and preparation can make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a potentially dangerous situation.
The leading cause of death during winter storms is auto accidents. Below are preventative tips to keep you safe on the road this winter. You may not be able to control Mother Nature but using caution and common sense can prevent an accident.
- Always know the weather before you get on the road. Remember to be extra careful when driving on bridges and overpasses; they are the first to freeze over. Be aware of black ice. Black ice occurs when the road appears to be dry but is darker and shinier than usual. Slow down when driving through these areas.
- Always Buckle Up!
- Slow Down (this includes turning, braking, stopping and accelerating).
- Stay Alert. Make sure you are aware of what the other drivers around you are doing.
- Stay in Control. If you do begin to fishtail, turn in the direction of the skid and make sure to keep your foot off of the brake and gas pedals. If you must brake on a slippery surface, be sure to pump the brakes gently unless you have ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). If you have ABS, press the brake firmly and hold. Do not pump the brakes if you have ABS-this will lessen the effect of your brakes.
- Avoid steep hills if possible. Use alternate routes even if they are a little longer-they may be safer.
- Keep enough distance between yourself and other cars. Slick conditions can triple the distance it takes to come to a complete stop.
- Keep your low beam headlights on…no matter what time of day it is.