In true Midwest fashion, Indiana sees a considerable amount of snowfall during the winter months. In addition, the drop in temperature makes for slippery road conditions this time of year. So, whether you’re new to winter driving or you’re a seasoned professional, brushing up on winter driving safety tips can help you stay safe on the icy roads.
1. Plan ahead
Keeping an eye out for dangerous weather forecasts can help you avoid driving in unsafe conditions. Whether you’re commuting to and from work or traveling for vacation, it’s a good idea to build your schedule around forecasted snow storms or drops in temperature.
When you plan around winter weather, you may just save yourself from messy storms and busy traffic. However, always use your best judgement when it comes to travelling in the winter. Sometimes, it’s better just to stay home altogether.
2. Practice defensive driving
No matter the season, you should be alert and cautious when driving. But because winter weather conditions can make the roads even more treacherous, it’s crucial to maintain defensive driving practices. Staying within the speed limit, for example, is important, especially in the wintertime. Unexpected icy patches can make it easy for you to suddenly spin out if you’re travelling too fast.
Other winter driving safety measures you can take include:
- Completely scraping or defrosting windows before driving
- Speeding up and slowing down slowly
- Keeping a safe following distance
- Avoiding cutting in front of other cars
3. Create emergency kits
Even when you use caution while driving, you may find yourself stuck in a snowbank or waiting for a tow truck. Having emergency kits in your vehicle can help you get through a temporary setback. You should have one for your car and one for you and your passengers. A vehicle emergency kit might include:
- A shovel
- Kitty litter or gravel
- Spare tire
- Jumper cables
- Ice scraper
An emergency kit for passengers might consist of snacks, blankets, flashlights and extra coats or winter accessories to stay warm.
Keep your winter collision-free
Being unprepared for the often-dangerous winter roads can mean bad news for you and your vehicle. By taking important safety precautions, you can keep yourself and other drivers safe as you travel during the cold winter months.