As the season of snowflakes and icy roads approaches, it’s essential to be aware of the unique challenges that winter driving brings. At Official Driving School, your safety is our top priority, so we’re here to equip you with the knowledge you need to stay safe on the road. Here are the top 5 hazards of winter driving and how to prepare for them:
- Slippery Roads:
Snow and ice-covered roads can be treacherous. To prepare, ensure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires for enhanced traction. Slow down and increase your following distance to allow for longer stopping distances. Gentle, gradual movements of the steering wheel and brakes are key to maintaining control.
- Reduced Visibility:
Blowing snow, sleet, and fog can significantly reduce visibility. Be sure your vehicle’s lights and defrosters are working correctly. Keep your windshield washer fluid topped up and carry an extra container. If visibility becomes extremely poor, pull over in a safe spot and wait for conditions to improve.
- Icy Patches:
Black ice is an invisible menace on the road. To prepare, drive cautiously, especially on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas where ice tends to form first. Maintain a slow, steady speed and avoid sudden maneuvers. If you hit a patch of ice, don’t panic; keep the steering wheel straight and ease off the gas.
- Snowy Obstructions:
Snowdrifts, piled-up snow from plows, or abandoned vehicles can obstruct the road. Equip your vehicle with a snow-brush and ice-scraper to keep your windows and mirrors clear. Always drive around, not over, snow obstacles, and use extra caution when passing snowplows.
- Cold Weather Strain:
Cold weather can be tough on your vehicle. Before winter sets in, have your car’s battery, brakes, and heating system checked. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including items like a flashlight, blanket, shovel, and non-perishable snacks.
The key to safe winter driving is preparation and vigilance. Take the time to prepare your vehicle and yourself for the unique hazards of the winter season. No matter how much driving XP you have, staying informed and cautious is your best defense against winter’s driving challenges.