In general, winter weather conditions like snow, ice and poor visibility can make driving more dangerous. Yet for some people, staying home during a storm is not always an option, so it’s important to prioritize safety. As the temperatures drop, how should your driving habits change?

Before You Go on the Road

blog-winter-drivingHow you maintain your vehicle often makes the difference between getting to your destination and ending up stranded. See that you:

  • Have at least a half tank of gas in your car.
  • Never warm up your vehicle in an enclosed area.
  • Never go out on the road feeling tired.
  • Always have fully-inflated tires.
  • Get your vehicle in peak working condition before the season starts.
  • Make sure an old battery gets replaced.
  • Ensure your wipers work and the washer reservoir is full.
  • Before you go, always clear snow off your car, including the headlights.
  • To prepare for what’s ahead, listen to the forecast before leaving home.

As You Drive

Among all winter driving safety tips, one of the most important things to remember is to go slow and give yourself more time to reach your destination. Expect roads to be slippery, even the familiar routes, and know how to act accordingly. Make sure you:

  • Avoid using cruise control on slippery roads. This makes it more difficult to control your car, should you hit an ice patch.
  • Always accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid potential skids.
  • Drive, stop and turn slowly.
  • Make sure you’re eight to 10 seconds behind the driver in front.
  • Try to avoid driving and stopping on hills.
  • Never slam on the brakes when you skid. Take your foot off and steer in the direction you want to travel.
  • Drive carefully on bridges and overpasses, as these areas freeze first.
  • Always drive with your headlights on.
  • Make sure your trunk includes a winter survival kit, should you break down.

Even the most cautious drivers can become involved in an accident. If you find yourself in this situation, turn to Trantolo & Trantolo’s experienced motor vehicle attorneys. When dealing with extensive damage and a difficult insurance company, we’re here to help. Contact an office location to discuss your claim today.