Driving in the Snow: 8 Important Safety Tips
Driving in the snow can be dangerous. While the best way to stay safe is to simply stay home, sometimes that’s just not an option. If you have to go out, you’ll want to make sure your car is prepped for winter driving, as well as take certain precautions while you’re on the road.
In an effort to help you prepare for winter weather driving conditions (and avoid that car insurance claim!), Nicholas / Tobin Insurance has put together a list of safety tips for driving in the snow.
Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow
Decrease your speed
The posted speed limit is meant for normal driving conditions. In poor weather conditions, you need to slow down.
Increase your following distance
Likewise, you need to increase the distance you keep between your car and the car in front of you during winter weather conditions. During good conditions, a distance of three seconds between cars should be adequate. But when visibility is poor or road conditions are wet and slippery, you should increase that distance to six to ten seconds.
Pay attention to other drivers
It’s important to stay alert to what is going on around you on the roads. You might feel comfortable driving in the snow, but others may be less experienced. And remember, winter weather conditions can create challenges for even the most experienced driver! Be prepared to react.
Keep your headlights on
Keep your headlights on when driving in bad weather conditions, even during the day. It will help you see, as well as help other drivers see you. Make sure your headlights are clear too. Often times, in snowy conditions, lights will get dirty from the dirty slush. If you stop for gas, clean them off before you head back on the road.
Don't use cruise control on wet roads
While cruise control is helpful at maintaining a steady speed when driving long distances, on wet roads cruise control can cause your car to hydroplane.
Be extra cautious on bridges and overpasses
Bridges and overpasses freeze before roads because they have cold air surrounding them from above and below. Reduce your speed as you approach bridges and overpasses.
Steer in the direction of the skid
If your car starts sliding, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction that the back wheels are skidding. This will help you regain control of your car.
Don't spin your wheels
If you get stuck, spinning your wheels will just dig you in deeper. Shift into your lowest gear, and make sure your wheels are pointed straight ahead. Before you get out of your car, put your car in park with the safety brake on. Remove as much snow as possible in front and behind the wheels and try to create a path to flat ground. Place sand or kitty litter in front and behind the front tires for traction. If you’re unable to get your car out, make sure to clear your tailpipe of any snow to avoid carbon monoxide buildup in your car. Then call for help!
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In spite of the best precautions, there is always the possibility of a car accident. Knowing what to do if you are in a car accident is also important. Should that happen, contact your insurance professional at Nicholas / Tobin Insurance right away…we will help make your car insurance claim process go as smoothly as possible.
Nicholas / Tobin Insurance, located in New Milford, Connecticut, provides its clients the highest quality insurance products and services available today to protect them, their families, and businesses. We offer homeowners insurance, renter’s insurance, car insurance, business insurance, travel insurance and more! Our commitment to service means our team of licensed insurance professionals is here to help with simple policy questions, consult with you to determine appropriate coverages and be available 24/7 when trouble strikes, and you need assistance managing through the claim process.