We’ve already had a taste of winter driving that made for some rough going.
Were you one of the people who found yourself slip-sliding on the roadway?
Now we have the New Year’s holiday approaching and plenty of holiday traveling.
Distracted, drowsy and/or impaired driving during the holidays leads to more accidents.
With that in mind, we’ve got some information and tips to help you put safety first before you hit the road.
Smart Tips that Put Safety First for Winter Driving
Our source at Bactrack report that 40% of traffic related deaths during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays involve drunk drivers. This is 12% higher than the rest of the month of December.
Recently, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) joined Hartford city leaders, first responders and rideshare representatives for a public plea before the holidays. Instead of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, the group encouraged people to use a designated driver or a ridesharing app to avoid endangering themselves and others on the road.
You should also know that your Auto Insurance company may consider drunk driving a violation of the policy. You may not be covered by an accident if you were driving impaired.
Of course, intoxicated driving isn’t the only hazard winter drivers face on the road. Before you leave the house, especially for a long trip, do a safety first check of your vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests having your car serviced for the winter. But that isn’t the end of your due diligence.
Before every drive, make certain:
- Clear snow, ice and dirt from the windshield, headlamps and signal lights and any sensors or cameras.
- On electric and hybrid vehicles, use a thermal heating pack for the battery and plug the car in when not in use.
- Have jumper cables because battery power drops during the cold.
- Make sure all lights and turn signals are working properly.
- Check your vehicle’s coolant to ensure you have enough.
- Fill your windshield washer reservoir with “winter” fluid.
- Check to be certain you have sufficient tire pressure.
- Pack an emergency kit with food, water, a cellphone charger, blankets and tools like a snow shovel or brush.
Another way to put safety first is to plan your trip route and share that with people you are driving to see. If for some reason you become stranded and cannot contact authorities yourself, they will know where to send help.
The Keating Agency encourages you to practice safe winter driving habits such as:
- Driving slowly during icy and snowy weather conditions.
- Maintain a safe distance behind other drivers.
- Be aware of as well as stay clear of snowplows..let them do their jobs safely!
- Don’t drive drowsy, intoxicated, impaired or distracted (i.e. texting, watching the GPS screen, etc.).
Putting your safety first is our main concern. We want you to have a Happy New Year and start 2018 safe and sound.