With the holiday season fast approaching, you may already have plans to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. Traveling during the wintertime requires extra vigilance as you may need to deal with snow and ice on the roads.
When you develop safe driving habits and know which behaviors to avoid, you can better protect yourself and your passengers. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for.
Rushing and speeding
The hustle and bustle of the holidays may leave you scrambling to tie up loose ends before you travel. On a busy morning, for example, you may feel like only de-icing a large enough portion of your windshield to see out of, leaving the remainder covered in frost. This mistake can reduce your visibility and impair your ability to see other cars and pedestrians. According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, plan for subpar road conditions and give yourself plenty of traveling time. Allow your vehicle to warm completely and wait for all of the frost to melt before you begin driving.
Always observe the posted speed limit. However, heavy snow, slippery roads or high winds may mean you need to drive slower. Take your time while driving and give yourself plenty of space to brake. Avoiding the temptation to drive too fast for the conditions can help you maintain control of your vehicle which may reduce your risks of crashing during the wintertime.
Failing to winterize
Winterizing your vehicle can help it to operate most effectively even during frigid temperatures. Check your fluid levels and swap your tires for some reliable snow tires. Not all tires have the capability of effective operation in snow. Even if you choose not to invest in snow tires, at the very least, verify that the tires you do have still exhibit adequate tread for winter driving. Additionally, consider putting some abrasive materials, like cat litter, inside of your vehicle in case you get stuck in the snow.
Make sure you stay safe on the roads this holiday season with a bit of preparation before you travel. If you do experience an accident, your decision to prepare may minimize the consequences of your situation.