Driving poses special dangers in wintery road conditions. Last month, icy roads contributed to a massive 66 vehicle pile-up in north-central Pennsylvania that included a crash-related fatality. By the time the chain reaction had stopped, 55 commercial vehicles and 11 automobiles had been caught up in the crash.
Seventeen percent (17%) of traffic accidents occur during winter months according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Here are 10 safety tips to keep you and your family safe on a wintery road.
Top Ten Safety Tips for Winter Driving
- Before winter weather sets in, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape by inspecting your battery, head and taillights, backup camera, engine coolants, wiper fluid, and tires.
- Slow down! Excessive speed is the cause of most snow and ice-related accidents. Stopping on snow and ice requires a greater safety cushion than driving on dry roads. Keep extra distance from the car in front of you.
- If you are not experienced in winter driving, wait for a storm. Then proceed cautiously to any large nearby, empty parking area. Practice driving where there is no danger of collision. Try driving, turning, and stopping at different low speeds so you can see how your car will react on the road and how you should respond to those weather conditions.
- If your car goes into a skid, do not hit the brakes. Tap them lightly and steer into the skid. Use smooth, slow movements so you do not make the skid worse.
- Turn on your headlights so other vehicles can more readily see you should your car go into a skid.
- If a car is following you too closely, put on your emergency flashers to indicate that they should fall back.
- Ensure that your tires are in good condition and have the correct inflation pressure. If you have snow tires, be sure to install them before snow and ice are expected. For more tips on tire safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's tips on tires.
- If your car has four-wheel drive, put your car into a low gear for greater control in ice and snow.
- Be prepared for any on-road emergency by stowing blankets, flares, shovels, ice scrapers, flashlights, and jumper cables in your car.
- Make sure everyone is wearing their seatbelt – a must in any weather!
If you find yourself in a winter weather-related accident, be sure to go to a safe location and get any needed medical attention. Then call us for a free consultation -- (215) 576-5150. We can help!