Inclement weather can cause a myriad of problems on the road. Fog and rain can be hazardous for drivers, but it is snow and ice brought by the cold months that bring the biggest risks.
It is generally advised that people should avoid driving in unsafe weather conditions, but what if you have no choice but to venture out onto the slippery roads?
The dangers of winter driving
The Federal Highway Administration reports that over 110,000 people get injured every year from crashes caused by ice, snow or sleet. An estimated 17% of all vehicle collisions occur during such winter weather conditions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With numbers this high, it seems that drivers who are likely to be traveling on slick winter roads should take some additional safety precautions before heading out and while driving.
The necessary precautions
Make sure your vehicle is ready to handle the conditions before pulling onto the street. Low temperatures can wreak havoc on your car’s battery and transmission. Give extra attention to the condition of your tires in the winter, and switch to special snow tires, if possible. Clear any and all snow or ice from your windows, lights, hood and roof. Once you are behind the wheel, you will need to drive slower and keep a larger distance between yourself and other vehicles.
Safe driving habits are useful year-round, but when dangerous conditions are present, extra vigilance may make the difference between a close call and a collision.