Don't Let It Slide: Winter Driving Safety

Every winter, people are injured or killed because they are not prepared or overconfident on snowy, icy highways. Even if you are a seasoned driver from a state like Missouri and don't give venturing out in a blizzard a second thought, keeping these safety tips fresh in mind will help keep you on the road and in control. If you do live in the Metro St. Louis area, Car Craft Auto Body in Chesterfield, Missouri would specifically like for you to take into consideration these tips:

Be sure you and your car are properly prepared

Before you decide to set out on a wintry trip, even if it is merely a short drive to the supermarket, keep the following items in mind.

  • headlight restoration car repair auto body estimates chesterfield missouri paintless dent repairMake certain that your vehicle has adequate antifreeze, the windshield is clean, and you have a lot of windshield washer fluid.
  • Test to make sure the headlights are clean and in working order.
  • Affirm that the tires have tread and are adequately inflated.
  • Have your battery tested, to prevent being stranded in the cold with a vehicle that won't start.
  • Equip your vehicle with a flashlight and extra batteries, a first-aid kit, warm clothing, and a blanket.
  • Remember to have sunglasses in the car, as the glare of the sun from snow and ice could be more intense in the winter than during summer.
  • Maybe the most important of all: Do not forget your cell phone, so you can call in case there is an emergency.

Decelerate and drive smoothly

Driving too fast is the main cause of accidents in wintertime conditions. Even if you're driving an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you simply can't safely go about doing 80 mph in a snowstorm. No matter your car or truck, how you drive can prevent accidents.

  • Avoid sharp acceleration, braking, and pointless lane changes. These maneuvers may cause your motor vehicle to lose traction and can launch you into an uncontrollable skid, leading to a collision.
  • Four-wheel-drive might help your vehicle get rolling in the slushy stuff, however it's of no use when you're seeking to steer or correctly stop on a slippery road surface.
  • Be patient and accept the fact that it's going to take longer to reach your destination.

Do not tailgate

Tailgating often brings about accidents, particularly if are driving in stop-and-go traffic like what is often seen in West County, Wildwood, Ballwin, and Chesterfield, MO. You may think that the driver ahead of you doing 35 mph on the freeway is going too slow and could use a reminder in the form of you riding their bumper, but this is unsafe.

  • Be patient and stay well behind the driver in front of you until it is safe to pass.
  • It is very important to keep in mind that it takes a considerably longer distance to stop your automobile in the snow or ice because of the decreased traction, even with just a mild covering on the road.
  • Needing to deal with a fender bender on a busy road in snow is unquestionably something which you want to avoid, particularly if other cars are sliding around as well.
  • Many serious accident injuries come from a second impact from another car after a seemingly trivial collision.

Don't try to use cruise control

Driving with cruise control is almost second nature. Certainly, it stops you from getting leg fatigue, keeps you from inadvertently speeding, and is wonderful on longer trips, but driving with it on in winter conditions may be dangerous.

  • If cruise control is a staple of your driving habits, make a mindful effort to make sure that you are not using it in winter weather.
  • Making use of cruise control in the snow, ice, or even rain is hazardous because if your automobile hydroplanes or skids, the automobile can accelerate and spin the wheels, wanting to maintain a constant speed.
  • If you hydroplane with cruise control on, it will be more likely that you lose control of your car.

Pull over or stay home

  • Keep in mind, there is no shame in making the reasonable decision to stay in when the conditions are very poor. You may be late coming to your destination, but showing up late in one piece is way better than the alternative.
  • If you can postpone your journey, or if it is non-essential, stay in when the weather conditions are very bad.
  • If at any time during your trip you feel that the conditions are too bad to continue driving, simply stay put.
  • If you're out on the road, look for a safe spot to pull over and wait until the weather passes or calms to the point where you feel at ease driving again.
  • If driving in bad weather conditions is fatiguing, change drivers before you get tired.

Even if you take every safety precaution, accidents still happen. If you're in an accident in the Chesterfield, MO area, call Car Craft Auto Body and they'll send a tow truck, arrange for a car rental, and repair your vehicle with the highest-quality repair service.