Poor weather conditions naturally pose a danger to travelers. The U.S. Department’s Federal Highway Administration estimates that 21% of the nation’s annual traffic accidents are weather-related.
High winds, slick roads and reduced visibility account for only a few of the risks drivers face from nature. In colder places, winter often brings with it increased danger in the form of ice and blizzards. Displaying the proper caution while traversing frozen roads may save you from becoming involved in a serious accident or otherwise suffering harm.
1. Watch your speed
When driving on icy roads, besides avoiding exceeding the speed limit, maintaining a slower speed may prevent you from skidding off the road. Additionally, suddenly hitting the brakes hard may cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Driving slower may prevent the need for this.
2. Drive carefully on hills
Avoid putting excess pressure on the accelerator while climbing hills. In snow, speeding up may cause your wheels to spin. If possible allow your car to build up speed on its own before the hill through inertia. Also avoid braking while climbing up the hill.
3. Remove distractions
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, flipping through radio stations, looking in the mirror — all of these keep you from focusing properly. In already dangerous conditions, they may prove to be deadly distractions.
While generally the policy for avoiding a wreck in poor weather is to stay at home and not go out, this is not always a feasible option. Being careful and prepared is a close second option for reducing the danger of driving in wintry weather.