December 6, 2017
Andy Williams correctly claimed winter is the “most wonderful time of the year”. However, the parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting are also accompanied by snow and cold weather that can add significant hazards to your commute. Here are some tips to ensure your winter remains the “happiest season of all”.
The most important safety tip to remember while driving in snow covered or potentially icy roads is to drive slowly. Ice and snow can make it difficult, or even impossible, to stop your car in hurry. The best way to combat this issue is to drive slower. Driving slowly will give you more time to bring your vehicle to a halt or steer safely to avoid an accident. When the roads are snowy, a few seconds can be the difference between a costly, dangerous and time consuming accident, or arriving safely at your destination.
Another important safety tip to remember is to know your vehicle. Not all vehicles are created equally when it comes to handling Northeast Ohio winters. The presence of AWD (all-wheel drive), rear-wheel or front-wheel drive, or anti-lock braking systems can all affect your ability to control your vehicle in icy conditions. Knowing these things about your vehicle can make you more prepared to handle a potentially hazardous situation. Moreover, they can drastically change the correct way to act in a given situation, and while you’re sliding off the road is not the ideal time to be figuring that out.
It is so obvious (I almost feel it needn’t be included), but wearing your seatbelt is crucial to remaining safe throughout winter. Every driver on the road will not be as prepared as you are to handle the hazardous road conditions. Ensuring everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seatbelt is the quickest and easiest way to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of an accident.
Lastly, if at all possible, simply stay home. Even the best and most cautious drivers cannot change the laws of physics. Snow covered and icy roads can make it impossible to stop your vehicle and avoid an accident. Before venturing out in to the snow, ask yourself if the trip is genuinely important and worth the risk. If it is not, stay home.
Winter is for spending time with family and friends at holiday gatherings and spreading joy to your loved ones. Nobody wants to spend their holiday season in bed with a sore back, and by following these simple tips, you won’t have to.
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