The weather outside is frightful and it can be especially frightful to drive in. From foggy windows to slick streets, winter driving isn’t for the faint of heart. Fortunately, there are a few key ways you can reduce your risk of getting into a car accident this season even when roads are icy. Here, we’ve compiled four tips to help you stay safe on winter roads.
Give the cars ahead some extra room
A common cause of winter car accidents is sliding on snow, slush, and ice. Even tires that have a lot of good traction can skid when you least expect them to when there’s enough snowfall. The best way to avoid bumping into the car up ahead of you is to make sure there’s enough room. Try to stay the length of about two to three cars behind the next driver. This will give you enough time to stop at red lights and stoplights should your vehicle slide. It also gives you enough time to stop if the car up ahead stops suddenly, too.
Avoid roads that you know are bad
Road construction and repairs are most common during the summer months after winter has wreaked havoc. Some construction businesses actually bill for contracted labor and materials ahead of time in preparation for the work that needs to be done. Unfortunately, not every bad pothole can be filled in one summer. If you know that a certain road in your neighborhood is a little worse for wear, make sure to avoid driving on it as much as possible. Potholes are one of the most common causes of car accidents, and there are nearly 117,000 injuries on state roads every year.
Upgrade your tires
Winter tires are a must for snowy and icy roads. Tires that have had their fair share of wear and tear are more likely to send you sliding at stop signs and stoplights. However, winter tires can be expensive ranging from $150 to $190 per tire. What’s more, compared to the Oklahoma sales tax of 4.5%, Michigan’s sales tax is 6%, making your winter tires that much more expensive. The good news is that you can still find a few ways to save when upgrading your wheels.
Start by shopping at a warehouse store that offers a wider selection of tires. You may be able to find quality tires there that are more affordable. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, take your search online. Online tire retailers like Discount Tire Direct and Tire Rack are great options for tires because their selection is so huge and their prices are competitive.
Pull over at the first sign of a snow squall
Snow squalls are a new weather phenomenon and they can be especially dangerous even for those who aren’t on the road. They’re an abrupt surge of snow and wind similar to a blizzard and can cause whiteouts at a moment’s notice. Make sure to sign up for weather alerts on your phone to get a notification when a squall is coming and then pull over to the side of the road with your lights on as soon as possible.
Winter weather can be scary to drive in, but you can be prepared to avoid disaster. Make sure to take the above tips into account the next time you hit the road this season.