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Winter Driving Tips to Avoid Car Accidents

Important Information You Should Know to Be Safe on the Road this Winter

Believe it or not, the snowy winter weather is just around the corner. Although it feels like summer just came to a close, it is time to start preparing for the snow, ice, and other inclement weather that Old Man Winter brings us every year. While many people remember to take out their cold weather clothes and prepare the shovels for clearing sidewalks and driveways, many do not remember that it is important to prepare yourself and your car for the winter driving conditions as well. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind when the snow is falling and you are out on the sometimes treacherous winter roads.

Mentally Prepare for Winter Driving

Driving in the summer is a care free experience – the weather is rarely bad enough to cause major hazards and there is nothing better than having the windows down and the radio up on a summer drive. Snow, ice, and cold weather makes driving much more dangerous, so it is important to give all of your attention to the road during the winter. When getting into a car, put yourself in the right mindset to be able to pay attention to what is going on around and with the car. Having this additional alertness will have you more apt to seeing possible accidents before they happen and having time to react.

Leave More Following Distance

Cold, wet roads can cause a lot of problems for drivers during the winter months. Because they tend to be more slippery, it is important to be aware of what is around you and how much room is between you and other cars. It is a great safety practice to leave ample distance between you and the car in front of you – this allows more time to correct after a slip and will help to avoid colliding with another vehicle. Also, make sure to take note of what is going on further down the road instead of just directly in front of you in order to predict accidents and correct for any potential problems before they happen.

Keep Your Car, Not Just Your Windshield, Free of Snow

We all know how important it is to defrost our windshields and keep them clean of snow while driving. What many people do not realize is that it is also important to clean the entire car of snow and ice as well. When snow and ice is left on a car and it begins to accelerate, those materials will blow backwards and could potentially cause an accident for another driver. It is especially important to remove large pieces of ice from the hood and top of the car – if these pieces were to fly off, it could severely damage another car and even cause an accident or serious injury to the driver and passengers.

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*Photo Courtesy of Jaanus Silla via Creative Commons License