Top Five Winter Driving Tips
Every winter, people are hurt or killed because they're unready or too confident on wintry, slippery highways. Even if you're a veteran driver from a state like Missouri and don't give venturing out in a blizzard a second thought, keeping these safety tips fresh in mind can keep you on the road and in control. If you do live in the Metro St. Louis area, Car Craft Auto Body in Oakville, Missouri would especially like for you to take into account the following tips:
Make certain you and your car are adequately prepared
Before you decide to set out on a wintry trip, even if it's simply a quick drive to the supermarket, keep these items in mind.
• Be sure that your car has copious antifreeze, the windshield is clean, and you've got lots of windshield washer fluid.
• Check to ensure the headlights are clean and in working order.
• Confirm that the tires have tread and are adequately inflated.
• Have your battery checked, to avoid being stranded in the cold with a car that will not start.
• Equip the car with a flashlight and extra batteries, a first-aid kit, warm clothes, and a blanket.
• Remember to have sunglasses in the car, because the glare of the sun from snow and ice could be more intense in the winter months than during the warm months.
• Perhaps the most important of all: Remember your cell phone, so you can call in case there is an emergency.
Slow down and drive smoothly
Driving too quickly is the main cause of accidents in cold weather conditions. Even if you're driving an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you simply can't safely go about doing eighty mph in a snowstorm. Regardless of your vehicle, how you drive can avoid accidents.
• Avoid sharp acceleration, braking, and unnecessary lane changes. These maneuvers may cause your vehicle to lose traction and could launch you into an uncontrollable skid, leading to a crash.
• Four-wheel-drive may help the vehicle get going in the slushy stuff, but it's of no use when you are trying to steer or correctly stop on a slippery road surface.
• Be patient and acknowledge the fact that it is going to take a bit of time to arrive at your destination.
Do not tailgate
Tailgating often leads to accidents, particularly if you are driving around in stop-and-go traffic like what is commonly seen in Oakville, Mehlville, Arnold, and Lemay, MO. You might think that the motorist in front of you doing 35 mph on the freeway is going too slow and needs a reminder in the form of you riding their bumper, but doing this is risky.
• Be patient and stay well behind the motorist in front of you until it is safe to pass.
• It is very important to keep in mind that it takes a considerably longer distance to stop your motor vehicle in the snow or ice because of the reduced traction, even with only a mild covering on the road.
• Having to handle a fender bender on a busy road in snow is unquestionably something which you want to avoid, especially if other automobiles are sliding around as well.
• Many serious accident injuries come from a second impact from an additional vehicle after a seemingly trivial accident.
Avoid the use of cruise control
Driving with cruise control is almost second nature. Sure, it stops you from getting leg fatigue, keeps you from unknowingly driving too fast, and is wonderful on lengthy trips, but driving with it on in winter conditions can be unsafe.
• If cruise control is a staple of your driving habits, make a conscious effort to make certain that you're not utilizing it in winter weather.
• Making use of cruise control in the snow, ice, or even rain is hazardous because if your car hydroplanes or skids, the automobile can accelerate and spin the wheels, trying 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
Remember, there is no shame in making the reasonable decision to stay in when the conditions are dangerous. You might be late coming to your destination, but turning up late in one piece is substantially better than the alternative.
• If you can delay your trip, or if it's non-essential, stay in when the weather conditions are really bad.
• If at any time during your trip you think that the weather is too terrible to keep driving, simply stay put.
• If you're out on the highway, look for a safe spot to pull over and wait until the weather passes or calms enough where you feel comfortable driving again.
• If driving in bad weather conditions is fatiguing, switch drivers before you get tired.
Even if you take every safety precaution, accidents still happen. If you are in any sort of accident in the Oakville, Missouri area, call 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.