The winter months are notorious for inspiring dangerous driving conditions. Despite the fact that most Indiana drivers acknowledging this risk, not everyone properly adjusts their driving habits when temperatures start to drop.
With the coldest and snowiest months just around the corner, motorists need to refresh themselves on how to improve their safety during inclement winter weather. Obviously, properly maintaining a vehicle is very important for winter road safety. The following additional safety habits can also make a big difference to someone driving in Indiana after temperatures go down.
Lowering travel speeds and increasing following distance
Winter weather is so dangerous in part because it tends to make roads slippery. Wet and icy surfaces affect vehicle traction and can cause major crashes if people cannot stop as quickly as they need to. Cold air temperatures exacerbate difficulties in slowing down and stopping by decreasing tire pressure and further reducing the vehicle’s ability to maintain traction on the road. Drivers can account for these safety risks by decreasing their overall travel speeds and increasing how much distance they leave between their vehicle and other vehicles in traffic.
Leaving earlier for work
To many people, traveling at lower speeds isn’t a realistic option specifically because they have to get to work or get their children to school. Lower speeds mean longer travel times and possibly a late arrival. The only reasonable way to ensure that someone can get where they need to go on time safely is for them to adjust their winter schedules so that they can leave earlier on days when temperatures are low or roads are slick.
Changing regular travel routes
The fastest and most direct route is probably not the safest route when the weather is bad. Indiana motorists could potentially save a life by choosing to travel on lower-speed surface streets during times of inclement weather as opposed to driving on a highway. Higher speed limits and greater traffic density increase overall collision risk. Additionally, minimizing how many bridges someone has to cross could help keep them safer, as bridges tend to become icier before other streets, a fact that drivers tend to forget in the moment when they are out in traffic.
Making relatively minor changes to traffic habits and daily life during the coldest months of the year can reduce someone’s chance of getting hurt in an Indiana car crash.