Five Steps to Avoid a Car Crash This Winter

Icy conditions and snowy roads are always treacherous times to drive. This winter has already delivered dangerous situations for many drivers. Weather contributes to 25% of all car accidents, and ice alone makes up 12%. Avoiding an accident and making your commute safer in these conditions isn’t hard, but there are some important steps to follow.

Be Properly Equipped

During the winter, conditions can change quickly, and it’s paramount that your car is properly prepared. Make sure your vehicle has been recently inspected before heading out this season. Keep your antifreeze topped off, windshield defrosted, and headlights in working order. Properly inflated tires are essential in winter conditions, but be sure not to over inflate. Consider putting together a small kit with extra warm clothes, gloves, flashlight and blanket.

Slow Down

Even if you drive the same route every day, you need to give yourself ample time in case of backups or icy roads. It can be easy to treat a winter’s drive like any other commute and fall into habit. Stay alert and take things slow. Remember, you have lost a lot of traction. Avoid tailgating and taking sharp turns at speed.

Be Aware of Ice

As water freezes over night, it picks up many of the oils and gravel in the roads, becoming near invisible. As the day heats up, a thin layer of water forms over the top, making the ice extra treacherous. Pay attention to your local traffic reports and watch out for overpasses and bridges near water.

Don’t be Afraid to Stop

If you find yourself drifting, pump your brakes gently to avoid locking the car up. Turn into the direction of the skid, and slowly steer out of it. If you feel uncomfortable driving in these conditions, consider staying home or pulling over until the weather has cleared. Preventing an accident is better than managing through one.

Assume Drivers Can’t Drive in Winter

Every winter will be the first for many young drives. Even experienced drives tend to forget many of their basics in extreme weather. In these environments, cars can simply drift into one another even when both parties are doing their best to control their vehicles. According to a personal injury attorney in Portland, you should try to avoid driving alongside other vehicles, and watch those around you for signs of skidding. Leave a car’s length between you and other drivers. This is especially important when driving at higher speeds and on exit ramps.

Winter plays havoc on the roads, and it’s impossible to avoid all icy conditions. With these steps and your own vigilance, you can avoid most of what winter can throw at you and your vehicle. Any accident, even a slow collision on ice, can cause injury so make sure you’re prepared before one has the chance to happen.

Carsurfer Admin

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