Top Five Winter Driving Tips
Every winter, individuals are injured or killed because they're unprepared or too confident on snowy, icy highways. Even if you're a veteran motorist from a state like Missouri and don't give venturing out in a blizzard a second thought, keeping these safety tips fresh in your mind will help keep you on the road and under 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 the following tips:
Make sure you and your car are properly prepared
Prior to deciding to set out on a snowy trip, even if it is merely a quick drive to the grocery store, keep these items in mind.
• Make sure that your car or truck has plenty of antifreeze, the windshield is clean, and you have a good amount of windshield washer fluid.
• Check to be certain the headlights are clean and in working order.
• Verify that the tires have tread and are correctly inflated.
• Have your battery checked, to avoid being stranded in the cold with a vehicle that won't start.
• Equip your car with a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, warm clothing, and a blanket.
• Remember to have sunglasses in the vehicle, as the glare of the sun from snow and ice can be more intense in the winter months than it is in the summer.
• Maybe the most important of all: Remember your cell phone, so you can call in case there is an emergency.
Slow down 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 do 80 miles per hour during a snowstorm. No matter your vehicle, how you drive can avoid accidents.
• Avoid abrupt acceleration, braking, and unneeded lane changes. These maneuvers can cause your car to lose traction and could launch you into an uncontrollable skid, resulting in a crash.
• Four-wheel-drive may help the vehicle get moving in the slushy stuff, however it is useless when you are trying to steer or correctly stop on a slippery road surface.
• Have patience and accept the fact that it's going to take more time to reach your destination.
Do not tailgate
Tailgating commonly leads to accidents, especially if you are driving in stop-and-go traffic like what's commonly seen in Ballwin, Ellisville, Chesterfield, and Wildwood, MO. You may think that the motorist in front 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 to do so is unsafe.
• Show patience and stay well behind the motorist in front of you until it is safe to pass.
• It is very important to remember that it takes a much longer distance to stop your automobile in the snow or ice as a result of the reduced traction, even with just a light covering on the road.
• Having to deal with a fender bender on a busy road in snow is something that you want to avoid, especially if other automobiles are sliding around too.
• Many serious accident injuries come from a second impact from an additional car following a seemingly trivial accident.
Avoid the use of cruise control
Driving with cruise control has become almost second nature. Sure, it prevents you from getting leg fatigue, keeps you from inadvertently exceeding the speed limit, and is fantastic on longer trips, but driving with it on in winter conditions can be dangerous.
• If cruise control has turned into a staple of your driving habits, make a conscious effort to make certain that you're not using it in winter weather.
• Making use of cruise control in the snow, ice, or even rain is dangerous because if your automobile hydroplanes or skids, the automobile can speed up and spin the wheels, trying 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's no shame in making the wise decision to stay in whenever the conditions are very poor. You may be late coming to your destination, but showing up late in one piece is substantially better than the alternative.
• If you can delay your trip, or if it is non-essential, stay in whenever the weather conditions are very bad.
• If at any time during your trip you feel that the weather is too bad to continue driving, just stay put.
• If you are out on the highway, find a safe spot to pull over and hold off until the weather passes or calms enough where you feel comfortable 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, Missouri area, contact Car Craft Auto Body and they’ll send a tow truck, arrange for a car rental, and fix your vehicle with the highest-quality repair service.