Northeastern weather, particularly in the winter, can be quite unpredictable. For everyone’s well-being, drivers in these states need to carefully prepare when snowy months come around. Keep reading to learn about practical precautions that will help you stay safe during the coming months of winter driving. Don’t hesitate to call a Hartford County motor vehicle accident attorney if you’ve already run into problems on the road because of weather conditions and other drivers’ lack of caution.
Take Precautions Year Round
It is very important to prepare for winter weather at all times of the year. Many precautions will be more effective the soon you take action. For instance, you should keep your car in good condition, with the gas tank full, the engine tuned and the safety equipment regularly checked. Windshield wipers and defoggers are key safety features you must keep in good working order.
But proper preparation goes beyond the car itself. You should be carrying emergency supplies in your car at all times. Blankets, non-perishable snacks, first-aid kits, and additional sets of warm clothes. Kits such as snowbrushes, ice scrapers, and gloves are also wise to keep around. You never know when something can happen, and given the dangers of winter weather, getting caught without your gear could be incredibly worrying.
As winter approaches, you’ll want to carefully recheck every part of your car: brakes, tires, battery, and fluid levels. The colder it gets, the worse existing issues may become, so it’s in your best interest to catch potential problems as soon as possible. You would also be well served by investing in specially designed winter tires for those slippery roads.
Don’t Forget Winter Pre-Driving Vehicle Maintenance
Before you use your car on a winter day, shovel away snow or ice on the ground near where you parked your car. Then be sure to review and clean the car windows, the hood, the lights, and the roof before you start the engine. Doing so will give you more visibility as well as avoid snow and ice falling off your vehicle onto the road or another vehicle.
Drive Carefully During Winter
After all of your preparation, don’t forget to drive safely whenever you drive during a weather event. Because main roadways are often cleared first, try to stick to main routes. Taking a shortcut might be harmless in the summer, but starting towards a shortcut only to find that your shortcut hasn’t been plowed won’t save you time at all.
Beyond being rude, tailgating can put you and others in a lot of danger during the winter. Always stay at a safe following distance. You may not be able to see ice and snow before the car encounters them, so being able to stop quickly can be life-saving. That being said, you should always practice accelerating and braking. You need to become accustomed to moving slowly and deliberately to avoid accidents in winter weather.
Finally, any time you leave your residence during a snowstorm, err on the safe side and assume the weather is worse than it appears from indoors.