10 Helpful Safety Tips for Winter Weather Driving

Luckily, so far this year, there hasn’t been much snowfall this winter on Long Island. That doesn’t mean though that the Island won’t be getting hit with any snow for the rest of the season. Here are some words of advice for driving in the snow, dealing with icy roads, and staying as safe as you can while the weather outside isn’t the best.

Check out these tips that every driver should know, and practice, to be as safe as possible while driving in inclement winter weather conditions.

  1. If you don’t have to be out on the roads, don’t be! The easiest way to be safe on the roads during a snowstorm, is to not be on the roads then and to stay home instead.
  2. Make sure that you have a snow shovel in your car incase you get stuck somewhere. That way you can dig yourself out. Cat litter is also a good thing to have hand. It helps to create traction.
  3. Before hitting the road make sure that your headlights are not covered by snow. Others driving on the road need to be able to see you and you will be able to see the road better with headlights that are not obstructed. Also clear your windows and the top of your vehicle of snow.
  4. Buckle up!
  5. Look ahead! Keep your attention on the road and keep a lookout for any upcoming obstacles or maneuvers you will have to make in response to things like stop lights, stop signs and other more unexpected hindrances.
  6. Don’t speed! No matter where it is that you have to go, or how late you’re running, or how good you think your vehicle performs in the snow, it is never a good idea to speed while it’s snowing. You are putting yourself, and others, in potential danger.
  7. Though black ice can be hard to detect, keep an eye out for surfaces that seem darker and more dull to the eye. Those may be signs of black ice.
  8. Leave plenty of space between yourself and the car in front of you incase you have to stop short or come in contact with a slippery/icy spot on the roadway that pushes you forward suddenly. Reduce your speed once at the crest of the hill and slowly descend.
  9. If you see a hill coming up, gain some inertia before you hit the hill and do not start speeding only once you get to the hill. Hitting the gas pedal as your going up the hill will only make your wheels spin.
  10. If your car is experiencing a skid, release the gas (allowing your vehicle to decelerate) and steer your vehicle into the direction you’d like to travel. Do not slam on the brakes!

Photo by Falk Lademann via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

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