The winter is here now, and that means that people do have to be more cautious about how they drive. Unfortunately, many crashes do still happen. Inattentive drivers, those who are still learning to drive in winter conditions and others may make errors that put drivers at risk throughout the state.
What makes winter driving so dangerous?
Some of the conditions that make winter driving so dangerous include:
- Sudden storms and blizzards
- Icy roads
- Rain and sleet
Around 17% of all crashes take place during adverse winter weather conditions, so it’s worth thinking about the steps you can take before you head out on the road to improve your safety.
What can you do to stay safer when driving on winter roadways?
To start with, it is a good idea to check your tires. Your tires give your vehicle its grip on the roadway, so if the tires are worn down, there won’t be enough friction. The grooves on the tires move slush, snow and water away from the tires, too, giving your vehicle better traction.
If you checked your tires and they look good, the next thing to look at is your lighting system. Check your signals, brakes, high beams, low beams and hazard lights. If you do end up having to slow down due to snow or other problems on the road, put your hazard lights on to let others know that you’re traveling more slowly than usual.
Finally, keep in mind that the weather conditions are out of your control. It’s best to check the weather before you go out and to have an idea of what weather you can expect throughout the day. That way, you will be able to decide if you feel confident heading out in the conditions.
Taking these steps can help you be a safer driver, but they cannot protect you from the less-cautious drivers out there. If you are hit by another vehicle, use your hazard lights and stay where you are until help arrives.