Miami Valley Winter Safety Driving Tips You Should Know
Throughout the Miami Valley and all over Ohio, driving during the winter months poses its own unique challenges since the roads are filled with snow and ice and there is less visibility. Whether you are just dealing with colder weather or have to drive over an area with black ice, be sure to keep the following winter safety tips in mind. They can save you from having an accident and get you to your destination safely.
Don’t Drive When Tired
As with any other time of the year, never drive during the winter if you are overtired. When you get extremely fatigued, your reaction times slow down and you are less aware of your surroundings. Since the on-road dangers increase during the winter months, avoiding drowsiness behind the wheel is particularly crucial.
Avoid Cruise Control
Cruise control is incredibly useful, but you should limit your use of it during the winter months. Using cruise control tends to lead to more distracted driving. At the very least, it takes some of the control out of your hands. This is an issue when you are driving over ice or a wet surface, like snow, since you need the best possible control. All new 2017 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicle have traction control to assist the driver in deteriorating winter weather. Steering wheel mounted controls also help with maintaining hands on the wheel at all times.
Choose An Appropriate Vehicle
Whether you live in a rural area or not, some households can presents parking challenges depending on your location. Steep hills, un-plowed snow-filled roads, or un-paved roads can present certain challenges while driving. Discuss your specific vehicles with a trusted car dealership for recommendations.
Anytime you are behind the wheel in hazardous conditions, you need to drive slowly and carefully. This gives you more time to see potential obstacles ahead of you and makes it easier to brake or control a skid. Be particularly cautious if there is a risk of black ice in your area due to freezing temperatures.
Increase Following Distance
Stopping your car will take longer than normal in the winter thanks to the snow and ice. Because of this, you need to increase your typical following distance. In fact, you should keep double the following distance that you would on a dry road when on an icy one.
Get Your Car Ready
Unless you are a fully prepared offroad trucks, before driving in the winter you should make sure that your car is up to the challenge. Take the time to inspect it thoroughly, including checking the battery, ignition, lights, and brakes. Be sure to pay attention to your tires, ensuring they have enough grip left to successfully stop on the road. If you live in a very cold area, consider swapping out your normal tires for winter ones that are designed to maintain their flexibility even in colder weather.
Keep Your Tank Full
You never know when you will be stranded in the winter, whether it is due to a car accident or a snowstorm. Because of this, you should make it a point to make sure your gas tank is always at least half-full. This way, you should have more than enough gas to get out of a sticky situation or keep you warm while you wait for the weather to clear.
Put Supplies in Your Trunk
In addition to driving carefully and getting your car ready, you need to have a few key items on hand during the winter. Keep a snowbrush and ice scraper on hand to clear off your windshield and windows at all times. You should also have emergency basics, like a snow shovel; traction mats; salt, sand, or kitty litter; tire chains; wiper fluid; a flashlight; a blanket; and a first aid kit.