Safe driving during harsh winter conditions is a necessity for New Englanders. But it isn’t something that happens by chance.
Before hitting the road during or after a winter storm, take some precautions. The best trips are those where you and your passengers arrive safely.
Safe Driving Starts with a Plan
Safe driving starts with preparation. You wouldn’t go on a vacation without knowing where you were going and packing a few essentials.
Likewise, you should take certain steps before venturing out in winter weather.
The Conjeos County Citizen out of Colorado recommends packing a winter emergency vehicle kit. This should include jumper cables, blankets, flashlights, snacks, and drinking water. If you find yourself stranded, you’ll be able to survive until help arrives.
Speaking of help, it needs to be able to find you. You should pack a fully charged cell phone and flares.
However, you could find yourself in an area without service. It’s important to tell someone where you are going, what route you plan to take, and what time you expect to arrive.
Of course, before you do any of these things, your car needs to be in good condition. Our friends at the Insurance Information Institute (III) suggest making sure your car battery is in good shape, your tires have decent tread, and that your gas tank and windshield wiper fluid tank are full. They also suggest keeping a snow shovel, snow brush, and ice scraper in your vehicle.
As far as you actions behind the wheel, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has tips for safe driving. The most obvious is to stay home if the roads are bad.
If that is not an option, KBB recommends:
- Drive slowly
- Eliminate distractions
- Respect snow ploys
- Watch for animals
- Don’t use cruise control
- Teach your teen
While even the best drivers can get in an accident, following these commonsense guidelines should keep you and your passengers safe.