Don’t Let It Slide: Winter Driving Safety

Every winter, individuals are hurt or killed because they are unready or overconfident on wintry, icy highways. Even if you are a seasoned driver from a state like Missouri and do not give venturing out in a blizzard a second thought, keeping these safety tips fresh in mind will help keep you on the road and in control. If you do live in the Metro St. Louis area, Car Craft Auto Body in Saint Louis, Missouri would specifically like for you to take into account these tips:

Make certain you and your vehicle are adequately equipped

Before you set out on a snowy trip, even if it is just a quick drive to the grocery store, keep these items in mind.

  • Make certain that your vehicle has adequate antifreeze, the windshield is clean, and you’ve got adequate windshield washer fluid.
  • Test to ensure the headlights are clean and in working order.
  • Confirm that the tires have tread and are properly inflated.
  • Have your battery checked, to avoid being stranded in the cold with an automobile that won’t start.
  • Equip your automobile with a flashlight and extra batteries, a first-aid kit, warm clothing, and a blanket.
  • Remember to have sunglasses in the vehicle, because the glare of the sun from snow and ice can be more intense in the winter months than it is during the warm months.
  • Perhaps the most important of all: Do not forget your cell phone, so you’ll be able to call in case there is an emergency.

Slow down and drive smoothly

Driving too fast is the primary cause of accidents in cold weather conditions. Even if you’re driving an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can’t safely go about doing 80 mph in a snowstorm. No matter your car or truck, how you drive can avoid accidents.

  • Avoid sudden acceleration, braking, and avoidable lane changes. These maneuvers may cause your car to lose traction and could launch you into an uncontrollable skid, leading to a collision.
  • Four-wheel-drive might help the automobile get moving in the slushy stuff, but it is of no use when you’re attempting to steer or safely stop on a slippery road surface.
  • Be patient and accept the fact that it’s going to take a bit of time to reach your destination.

Do not tailgate

Tailgating frequently brings about accidents, specifically if you are driving around in stop-and-go traffic like what is often seen in Oakville, Chesterfield, Bridgeton, and Saint Louis, MO. You may think that the motorist in front of you doing 35 mph on the freeway is going too slow and could use a reminder in the form of you riding their bumper, but doing so is unsafe.

  • Show patience and stay well behind the motorist in front of you until it’s safe to pass.
  • It is essential to remember that it takes a considerably longer distance to stop your automobile in the snow or ice because of the decreased traction, even with just a mild covering on the road.
  • Needing to handle a fender bender on a busy road in the snow is undoubtedly something which you want to avoid, particularly if other automobiles are sliding around as well.
  • Many serious accident injuries come from a second impact from an additional vehicle following a seemingly trivial accident.

Do not use cruise control

Driving with cruise control is almost second nature. Certainly, it prevents you from getting leg fatigue, keeps you from unknowingly speeding, and is great on lengthy trips, but driving with it on in winter conditions may be dangerous.

  • If cruise control is a staple of your driving habits, make a conscious effort to make sure that you are not utilizing it in winter weather.
  • Utilizing cruise control in the snow, ice, or even rain is hazardous because if the car hydroplanes or skids, the vehicle can speed up and spin the wheels, attempting to maintain a constant speed.
  • If you hydroplane with cruise control on, it’ll be more likely that you lose control of your car.

Pull over or stay home

Do not forget, there is no shame in deciding to make the wise decision to stay in when the conditions are very poor. You may be late coming to your destination, but turning up late in one piece is way better than the alternative.

  • If you’re able to delay your journey, or if it’s non-essential, stay in when the weather is really bad.
  • If at any time during your trip you think that the weather is too bad to continue driving, just stay put.
  • If you are out on the highway, look for a safe place to pull over and wait until the weather passes or calms to the point where you feel at ease driving again.
  • If driving in bad weather conditions is fatiguing, switch drivers before you get tired.

Even if you are taking every safety precaution, accidents still happen. If you’re in any sort of accident in the Saint Louis, MO area, contact Car Craft Auto Body and they’ll send a tow truck, arrange for a car rental, and repair your vehicle with the highest-quality repair service.