Staying safe while driving always requires attentiveness and preventative vehicle maintenance to avoid accidents and roadside breakdowns. Those requirements are heightened during the wintertime.
The authorities do all that they can to get enough plow and salt trucks on the road when the weather gets bad. But even with their best efforts, we often end up with roads that have slick spots or treacherous conditions.
We deal with it every year when the snow starts to fall. To help you navigate the winter months and the snowfall Indiana experiences, we have a few tips.
Indiana Driver Safety Tips for Snow and Ice
Your actions and preparedness during snow and ice storms can keep you safe on the roads this winter. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
1. Give Plow Trucks Plenty of Room
Don’t follow plow trucks closely. Some people think that following these trucks offers better traction. But you put your vehicle at risk by exposing it to more salt and following too closely can make you guilty of partial negligence. You don’t want to give the other driver any reason to say you were negligent and caused an accident.
2. Make Small Movements
Any kind of jerky movement – whether it be quick acceleration, braking or turning – can lead to slipping around on the road. Instead, try to keep your movements smooth and small as if you had a covered dish in the car you want to transport safely to a dinner party.
3. If You Start to Slide, Take These Precautions
Always look where you want the vehicle to go. Your peripheral vision will take care of seeing what’s happening around you. But you don’t want to take your eyes off of straightening the vehicle out and looking ahead toward what’s in front of you.
And avoid panicking when you aren’t fully in control of your vehicle. You want to avoid slamming on the brakes, which can make matters worse. Steer into the direction you’re sliding to regain control of the vehicle once traction returns. Only gently tap the brakes to bring the vehicle back where you want it to go.
4. Read the Signs of the Road
As you’re driving, look out for shiny patches. These patches are likely ice and should be avoided if possible. Driving in fresh powder is also different from driving in slush or water that is beginning to refreeze as the temperature drops at night. Sudden spots with shade are also something to be aware of because they won’t get the benefit of the sun during the warmest part of the day to help melt the snow and ice.
If you have options between powdery snow or wet pavement, you’ll actually probably have better traction in the fresh powder than you will the unknown of the wet pavement where ice might be lurking.
5. Stock Your Car With Supplies
Snowstorms can change rapidly. You might leave home in just a few flurries and find yourself getting stuck in a snow pile later in the day. It’s not a bad idea to carry a small snow shovel with you to dig out around your vehicle in case of a heavy snowfall.
Jumper cables can also come in handy if temperatures drop and you experience struggles with your car battery. Carrying some water, snacks, and blankets is also wise just in case you get stranded somewhere.
Indiana Car Accident Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
Ideally, you’ll avoid driving when the snow and ice get bad. But if you find yourself in a situation where you suffer a car accident during winter weather, contact the experts at Stewart & Stewart. We’ll help you recover from the accident and deal with the insurance company for you. Schedule a free consultation now for more information.