Winter is definitely one of the most beautiful seasons for exploring the world and seeing it in a whole new light. Sadly, at the same time, it is also the most dangerous season when it comes to driving. As thousands of people get injured in road accidents every winter while driving.
Annually, due to icy roads, there are 156,164 accidents, and there are more than 1,300 fatalities. Some of them could have prevented and some would have happened either way. But here are some tips to increase your chances of dodging a crash this winter.
These tips won’t guarantee that you won’t have a car accident but might save someone this winter, so make sure you stick to them!
1. Don’t lose your cool
Another common mistake that leads to accidents is that the drivers don’t stay calm and tend to panic. Whenever you face a difficult situation, particularly when driving in winter, avoid the temptation to slam the breaks and instead, try to regain control of the car slowly and calmly. Swerving off the road can lead to landing in a ditch or crashing into a tree or another car.
2. Be prepared
Your tires aren’t all that you need to check. You’ll also have to check the radiator to decide if you need antifreeze. Most drivers also tend to neglect their windshield wipers even though they need to replace them at least once a year. Similarly, it’s a good practice to check the car batteries on a yearly basis as cold temperatures can dramatically impact the life and performance of the battery. You also need to check that the car’s heating and cooling systems are working. You might even want to get the car serviced before winter. And don’t forget to check the car headlights as they’re even more important in winter since visibility decreases fast during the daytime.
3. Check the tires
Your tires must inflate and they should also have good tread depth. Tread depth is important as it affects the stopping distance of the vehicle. It is recommended that you change tires after every 6000 miles or whenever any uneven wear you notice. Cold weather also means that the tire pressure drops more quickly so keep a check on tire pressure by either using a tire pressure gauge or stopping by a tire store. If there’s extensive traveling involved, it would be a good idea to invest in winter tires as they’re more reliable and they can last for a couple of years.
4. Stock up for emergencies
Dress in warm but comfortable clothes so you don’t feel cramped when sitting behind the wheel for a long time. It is also a good idea to have some extra blankets, snacks, and a water bottle in your car. As you should always prepare for emergencies. If you break down and have to wait for road assistance in a freezing car you’ll be grateful for this advice. Other than that, you should also have a first aid kit, spare tire, fire extinguisher, and an ice-scraper. As you never know when you might need them.
5. Don’t rush
The most common mistake people make on the road in winter while driving is that they don’t consider the weather when making plans. Always allow some extra time by planning ahead so you won’t be rushing along icy roads to be on time. Driving fast in bad weather conditions is the number one reason for accidents. So keep your foot off of the accelerator.