While the cold weather of winter can impact your vehicle’s performance, it can also affect your ability control your car. And knowing how to adjust your driving habits to adapt to these changes – and mitigate the risks that can come with them – can be essential to safe winter (and holiday) traveling on the roads.
How to Adjust Your Driving Habits for the Challenges of Winter
- Slow down behind the wheel – While this means that motorists should generally drive about 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit, it also means that drivers should be conscious of accelerating and decelerating more slowly during the winter in order to reduce the chances of losing traction with the roadway (and getting into a crash).
- Watch for black ice – Black ice can be especially treacherous for motorists in the wintertime, as it can be difficult to spot and it can result in a total loss of control over the vehicle. If you are not aware of the signs of black ice, expect it to develop when the weather is freezing and rain is falling (or recently has fallen).
- Be particularly careful when approaching ramps and intersections – These areas of roads, which tend to be where more vehicles accumulate in closer quarters, can also be especially susceptible to black ice and slick conditions. So, be cautious when approaching or leaving ramps and intersections, as icy conditions can make driving more complicated – and other motorists may not be as alert, careful or considerate as you are.
- Don’t use cruise control on slick roads – Or when it’s raining or snowing. This is because the use of cruise control in these conditions can reduce the traction your vehicle’s tires have with the road, increasing the risk of hydroplaning and traffic accidents.
- Don’t forget about Scott’s Law – In other words, be alert to the presence of emergency vehicles and work crews on the roads, and slow down/move over when you see them to provide them with sufficient room. Similarly, give snow plows plenty of room on the roads.
- Check the weather and keep a winter safety kit in your vehicle – While checking the weather can alert you to any storms or adverse weather heading your way, having a safety kit in your vehicle can be essential if you are stuck on the roadside for any reason this winter.
- Keep up some essential habits – In other words, don’t forget to buckle up every time you get in a vehicle, and if you are the driver, never drive drunk and remain focused on the road/driving at all times.
Summing up the importance of these winter driving habits, Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn has explained that:
With temperatures dropping and some of the state already experiencing a first blast of winter, drivers should be aware of what they can do to keep safety their No. 1 priority… That means buckling up, slowing down, increasing traveling distances, and preparing to stay home if the weather is bad. By remembering the basic winter driving skills, together we can make this winter the safest one ever on Illinois roads.
Contact a St Louis Car Accident Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, contact a St Louis car accident lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law for experienced help with your financial recovery. You can call us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.