Driving Safety Tips For When Winter Weather Imperils Roads

Posted on January 22, 2013

At this time of the year, you never know when a winter storm is going to move through parts of California.  That’s why you must always be prepared for such an occurrence.  When snowy and slick conditions threaten the safety of roadways, it becomes imperative to know what to do to protect both oneself and his or her fellow travelers.  To that end, make sure that you consider some winter driving safety tips from the North Carolina Highway Patrol should you ever find yourself out in the elements.

The best thing you can do to cut down on risk is to stay off the roads as long as you can.  But we understand you have work to do and errands to run, and thus ceasing driving completely might not be possible.  Therefore, take whatever other precautions you can.  Put on a seatbelt and drive at a speed that’s acceptable given the circumstances.  Take into account slick roads by giving the vehicle in front of you more room than you otherwise would.  So that you’re not pushing yourself past safe limits, make sure to leave plenty early and account for the poor driving decisions of others.  And if you happen upon a bridge, watch your speed.  These sections of the road are far more likely to have buildups of ice.

If your automobile was outside while snow fell, you might awake to find that it’s been veritably buried.  Should this happen to you, take time to defrost and clear your windshield and all other windows.  Don’t cut corners, as that one area you missed could create a blind spot that hides a vehicle right in the path of your lane change.  Also be sure to clear your headlights of snow so the road is properly illuminated at all times.

One vehicle feature has no place in winter weather:  cruise control.  This automatic feature can’t take into account slicker roads and dangerous conditions, and the hindrance to control can compromise your safety.  Leave this function off so that you’re ready to go into action should a danger be presented.

Also understand what you need to do should you get in some type of accident.  Hopefully you’ve prepared yourself with a blanket and a fully charged cellphone.  Call emergency services, yet take into account the weather when evaluating how long it’s taking the responders to arrive.  If you’re not hurt and your vehicle is still in driving condition, see if you can move the automobile out of the road and onto an area where it won’t compromise other travelers.

Finally, if the accident brings your vehicle onto a non-road surface, resign yourself to the fact that it might be stuck there for a couple days.  Call for someone to pick you up, and wait until the elements improve before attempting to facilitate movement.  Consider alternate travel options in the meantime.

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