Don't Let It Slide: Winter Driving Safety

Every winter, people are hurt or killed because they are unready or too confident on wintry, icy highways. Even if you are a seasoned driver from a state like Missouri and don't give venturing out in a blizzard a second thought, keeping these safety tips fresh in your mind can keep you on the road and under control. If you do live in the Metro St. Louis area, Car Craft Auto Body in Oakville, Missouri would especially like for you to think about these tips:

Make certain you and your car are properly prepared

auto body collision repair center headlight restoration car body repair estimates oakville missouriBefore you set out on a snowy journey, even if it is just a short drive to the grocery store, keep these items in mind.

  • Be sure that your vehicle has enough antifreeze, the windshield is clean, and you've got lots of windshield washer fluid.
  • Check to make sure the headlights are clean and in working order.
  • Confirm that the tires have tread and are correctly inflated.
  • Have your battery checked, to avoid being stranded in the cold with a vehicle that will not start.
  • Equip your automobile with a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, warm clothing, and a blanket.
  • Remember to have sunglasses in the automobile, as the glare of the sun off of snow and ice could be more intense in the winter than during summer.
  • Perhaps the most important of all: Remember your cell phone, so you can call in case of emergency.

Decelerate and drive smoothly

Driving too fast is the primary cause of accidents in winter conditions. Even if you're driving an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can't safely go about doing eighty miles per hour in a snowstorm. No matter your motor vehicle, how you drive can avoid accidents.

  • Avoid sudden acceleration, braking, and pointless lane changes. These maneuvers can cause your motor vehicle to lose traction and can launch you into an unrestrained skid, causing a collision.
  • Four-wheel-drive could help your motor vehicle get started in the slushy stuff, yet it is useless when you are attempting to steer or correctly stop on a slippery road surface.
  • Have patience and acknowledge the fact that it is going to take longer to arrive at your destination.

Do not tailgate

Tailgating commonly brings about accidents, particularly if you are driving in stop-and-go traffic like what's often witnessed in Mehlville, Arnold, Lemay, and Oakville, MO. You may think that the driver in front of you doing thirty-five miles per hour on the freeway is going too slow and needs a reminder in the form of you riding their bumper, but this is unsafe.

  • Show patience and stay well behind the driver in front of you until it is safe to pass.
  • It is important to remember that it takes a considerably longer distance to stop your vehicle in the snow or ice because of the decreased traction, even with just a light covering on the road.
  • Needing to cope with a fender bender on a busy road in the snow is certainly something that you want to avoid, especially if other cars are sliding around as well.
  • Many serious accident injuries result from a second impact from another car after a seemingly trivial accident.

Don't use cruise control

Driving with cruise control has become almost second nature. Sure, it stops you from getting leg fatigue, keeps you from inadvertently driving too fast, and is fantastic on long trips, but driving with it on in winter conditions may be dangerous.

  • If cruise control has turned into a staple of your driving habits, make a conscious effort to make sure that you are not utilizing it in winter weather.
  • Making use of cruise control in the snow, ice, or even rain is hazardous because if your automobile hydroplanes or skids, the car can speed up and spin the wheels, wanting to maintain a constant speed.
  • If you hydroplane with cruise control on, it will be more likely that you lose control of your automobile.

Pull over or stay home

Do not forget, there's no shame in making the wise decision to stay in whenever the conditions are very poor. You may be late coming to your destination, but turning up late in one piece is much better than the alternative.

  • If you're able to delay your journey, or if it's non-essential, stay in whenever the weather conditions are very bad.
  • If at any point during your trip you feel that the weather conditions are too bad to keep driving, just stay put.
  • If you are out on the road, look for a safe place to pull over and wait until the weather passes or calms enough where you feel at ease driving again.
  • If traveling in bad weather conditions is fatiguing, change drivers before you get tired.

Even if you take every safety precaution, accidents still happen. If you're in an accident in the Oakville, MO area, contact Car Craft Auto Body and they'll send a tow truck, arrange for a rental car, and fix your vehicle with the highest-quality repair service.