Driving can be hazardous even in the best of conditions. Add snow, sleet and frigidly cold temperatures and you quickly create a dangerous situation for anyone that is out on the roads. For anyone who lives in a part of the country that deals with annual winter weather, the risks and troubles of driving in the snow are just a part of daily life.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) claims that over 2,000 fatalities are reported every winter on the roads due to slick conditions and lack of visibility. If you have to commute in an area where you are dealing with icy roads, you should know how to handle your vehicle when things get cold.

Lawyers in Burnaby deal with thousands of auto injury cases that involve accidents that have happened in winter weather. They attest that focusing on safety and honing your winter driving skills can help you stay safe behind the wheel and avoid catastrophic injury.

Before You Hit The Road

Driving in snow and ice is very different than fair weather driving. That being said, you should pay extra attention to your vehicle readiness before you get behind the wheel.

Emergency Supplies

Always carry an extra set of warm and dry clothes with you in your vehicle during the winter months. Even if you don’t end up sliding off the road, it’s not unusual to get stranded for up to a few hours during a storm. Stay warm by layering up on your clothes or bundling up in a warm wool or thermal blanket.

Gas

During the winter months, it’s a good idea to always have at least a half a tank of gas before you head out. Freezing temperatures can make it difficult for your engine to start, which is complicated when your gas tank is near empty.

Cruise Control

Avoid setting your cruise control when you are driving in winter weather. Speed control is a critical way to help control your vehicle when dealing with slick roads.

Tires

All-season or winter weather tires will give you the best grip on the road in snowy conditions. Always make sure that your tires have the proper tire air pressure, as low tires won’t have the same grip on the road and can cause you to slide and slip.

While Driving

Driving in winter conditions can be nerve wracking, even if you have to deal with it every year. Many drivers choose to stay off the roads entirely when they can and just stay put until road conditions improve. If you have to hit the roads in bad weather, here are a few tips to help keep you safe.

Slow Down

Nothing is more important than your and your family’s safety on the road. When conditions start to get harsh, it’s time to reduce your speed. Arriving alive is more important than arriving on time.

Your car has much less traction and grip when the roads are covered in snow and ice, making it more difficult to stop within a reasonable distance, so keep your speed to a minimum.

Acceleration and braking can be a challenge in the snow, so make things easier on yourself by reducing your speed and staying safe.

Braking

When things start to get slippery on the roads, it can be a matter of instinct to want to hit your brakes to slow your vehicle, but that’s the worst thing that you can do.

If you start to slide, apply only enough brake pressure to slow down. If you start to feel the vehicle sliding, slowly take your foot off the brake and steer away from your skid to straighten out.

Driving in winter is challenging even if you are an experienced driver. It is important to be aware of winter safety tips to avoid getting into an accident.