Winter is here, and that means snow is here, too.
Every year, hundreds of people are killed and thousands more are injured in winter weather car accidents. Many of these accidents could be prevented with safe driving techniques.
If you’re not confident driving in the snow, or if you just need a little driving safety refresher, keep reading.
Here are seven great tips that will help you stay safe while driving in snow.
1. Slow Down
One of the most important things to remember when you’re driving in the snow is to go slower than you normally would.
Even if you’re confident about your winter driving abilities, you never know when a patch of black ice is going to pop up.
Plan ahead and leave early for events so you don’t feel a need to rush.
2. Get Familiar with Your Car
Familiarize yourself with your car’s various mechanisms — all-wheel drive, anti-lock braking systems, etc. — so you feel confident using them when the snow starts to fall. Get comfortable with your car’s brakes, too.
3. Steer into the Skid
Should your car skid on ice or snow, steer into it rather than against it.
This might seem counterintuitive at first. But, it will help you regain control of your car more quickly.
This approach works especially well for all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive vehicles.
4. Don’t Rely on AWD
All-wheel drive is a nice tool that can make winter driving easier. But, it’s not a magic button.
You still need to use caution when driving during bad weather to keep yourself and your passengers protected.
5. Learn to Handle White Outs
When the weather “whites out” and you have a hard time seeing, don’t panic. Follow these guidelines to maintain control of your vehicle:
- Slow down and put on your hazard lights
- Don’t use bright lights because they will reflect back at you
- If traffic has stopped moving, come to a stop
- Pull over if possible
Remember to stay in your car, too. Do not abandon it on the side of the road.
6. Prepare for the Worst
Nobody wants to think about worst-case-scenarios for winter driving, but it’s important to be prepared.
Put together an emergency kit with food, water, emergency flares, and other useful tools. That way, if you do end up having to camp out in your car, you have the supplies you need.
7. Don’t Drive When It’s Not Necessary
Finally, avoid driving in severe weather whenever you can. Learn and look out for the signs of an approaching snowstorm or blizzard.
Don’t make unnecessary trips and try to cancel plans if you’re really worried about your ability to handle the snow. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What if You Get Injured While Driving in Snow?
These seven tips will help you stay safe during even the most intense winter storms. But, no matter how safe of a driver you are, accidents can still happen.
If you’re injured in a car accident while driving in snow, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
If you live in or around the Spokane area and need a personal injury attorney, we can help at Maurer Law. Contact us today to learn more about our services.