As we head into the colder months, many areas will begin to see the effects of the temperature changes in icy roads and snowy trails. According to a study performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Winter storms, bad weather, and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter.” Driving in these types of conditions require preparation and extra cautions in order to keep yourself and others on the road safe. For any driver who plans to be traveling both short and long distances during the winter, here are 5 ways to prepare for winter driving.
Distracted driving accidents are much more likely to happen in the winter due to the combination of distractions both inside and outside of the car. According to a car accident attorney, “When someone suffers serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident, they can incur a significant amount of losses”. In order to avoid this, remove the distractions you can control in order to do your part to protect yourself and others on the road. Keep temptations out of reach by putting them in the backseat, avoid eating and drinking while driving, and secure packages inside the vehicle to avoid any shifting of boxes while driving.
Get a routine check up
Before the start of the winter season, visit your local mechanic for a routine vehicle check up and to service any necessary repairs before the snow falls. Ask the mechanic to look for leaks, badly worn hoses, and other car parts that are close to needing a replacement. Colder temperatures can affect a car battery and cause a decrease in battery power. In addition to the battery, have the lights tested, ensure there is enough coolant, and that windshield wipers are performing at their best.
Plan routes ahead of time
The last thing you should be doing while driving is fiddling with a map or a GPS. If you do not use a GPS or an app for directions, practice your route to your destination before an important appointment to avoid taking a wrong turn or driving more than needed. If you are using a GPS, enter the destination before you leave the driveway in order to avoid getting distracted and taking your eyes off the road later on.
Stock your car with essentials
Driving in winter brings different challenges that you should plan ahead for. Stock your trunk with winter essentials such as a snow shovel, broom, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlights, flares, bottled water, and food. Be sure to pack extra blankets and clothing as well in case of an emergency where you are stranded or unable to quickly get assistance.
Invest in new tires
Having the right tires can make a huge difference in how effectively your car can navigate snow covered roads. If possible, invest in a set of tires that is made to move through both fluffy and tightly-packed snow. Tires that are specifically made for use in the snow have deeper grooves and more intricate patterns to glide through thick snowfall.
While heavy snowfall only affects certain areas, it’s important to be prepared if you live in one of these areas. Take the necessary steps before snowfall hits to protect yourself, your family, and the other drivers on the road.