If you don’t have a lot of experience driving in snowy, winter weather, it can be very frightening and sometimes even dangerous to get out there on the roads. It is important for you to know all of the rules for safety in dealing with road emergencies and specific snow and ice related situations during the winter months. Speak with your Fall River insurance agent for information about winter driving courses and safety classes available for drivers who want to improve their winter driving skills.
Basic Winter Driving Tips
Here are some basic tips for better winter driving to help get you started. First and foremost, make sure that you do not drive when you are tired or fatigued in any way. You need to be alert when you drive at all times, but especially when the roads are snowy and icy or during other types of severe weather. Consider taking a rest or nap before getting in your car to drive as a means of reducing fatigue-related driving risks.
- Don’t warm your vehicle in a closed garage, open the garage door or pull it outside of the garage before you allow it to sit and warm up.
- Check your vehicle to ensure that your tires have the right amount of air and never mix radial tires with other types of tires.
- To avoid winter freeze ups, keep the gas tank at least half full at all times.
- Do not use your parking brake when the weather is rainy, snowy or icy.
- Do not use cruise control if you are driving on a slippery surface, this includes ice, rainy, wet or sandy roads.
- Buckle up your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle – even if you are only driving down the street.
- Always look very carefully before you steer the vehicle where you want it to go.
Advanced Winter Driving Tips for Long Trips
Motorists in Fall River, MA should always plan a long trip during the winter months ahead of time to avoid getting themselves into dangerous situations. Before you leave, check the weather reports in your local area and along your route the day ahead of time and then again right before you leave to ensure a storm hasn’t moved in unexpectedly. Delay your trip if bad weather is expected and when you do leave, make sure that someone else knows your route, your estimated time of arrival and the destination to which you are headed.
- Get your vehicle checked by a mechanic to make sure it is in good condition before any long trip.
- Bring a cell phone with you and have important numbers, such as your Fall River insurance agent, family members and emergency numbers already programmed in.
- Pack an emergency kit that includes blankets, gloves, hats, water, food and any prescription medications that you take on a regular basis, as well as an ice scraper, shovel, kitty litter and road flares, in case you get in an accident or stuck in the snow.
- Stay with your vehicle if you get stuck in the snow – it will provide shelter and make it easier for a rescue party to find you.
- If you cannot easily dig out your vehicle, get back inside and call for help – do not dig to exhaustion.
- Check to make sure that your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged up with mud, ice or snow, as it could cause carbon monoxide to leak into the vehicle when the engine is running.
- Put the dome light on in your vehicle at night to attract the attention of rescuers, as it uses very little electricity compared to other lights.
- During the day, tie a bright-colored cloth or scarf to the antenna to signal that you are in distress.
- Run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill so you can conserve gasoline.
Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow
When it comes to driving in the snow, motorists in Fall River, MA and all throughout the northern states need to learn how to accelerate and decelerate slowly. That’s the key! When you apply the gas slowly and apply the brake slowly, you will hold traction and avoid skidding. Take your time when slowing down for a stoplight or to make a turn. It takes longer to slow down on an icy, snowy road than it does when the roads are perfectly clear.
- Increase following distance during snowy weather from three to four seconds on up to eight to ten seconds.
- This will give you a longer distance if you need to make an unexpected stop.
- Better braking comes from learning how your brakes work and how much pressure is required in order to come to a complete stop.
- Avoid stopping if you don’t have to when the roads are snowy, just keep rolling slowly until the light changes.
- Be very careful when driving up a hill and reduce speed so you can drive as slowly as possible when coming back down.
- Never stop while driving up a hill, as it is very difficult to get moving up a hill on an icy and snowy road.
- Even if you have a lot of experience driving in the snow, don’t get out on the road if you don’t have to when the roads are bad.
Check Your Auto Insurance Policy
Speak with your Fall River insurance agent to make sure that your auto insurance policy is up to date and that you are properly covered. Winter is a great time to do all of those check-ups on your vehicle and to your auto insurance policy that you have been putting off. Your Fall River insurance agent can help you out with even more winter driving tips that can keep you safe through all the ice and snow.