It is no secret that midwest winters can be challenging for drivers. No matter how hard you try to prepare for the winter, something always seems to catch you off guard. With Iowa road deaths already on the rise, it is essential to do everything possible to protect yourself.
What you can do to protect yourself
To keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe, here are ten tips you can follow to help stay safe this winter:
- Take the time to clear your windshield completely – Do not just clear a small patch in front of the driver’s seat, as it will limit your ability to see danger on the road.
- Do not distract yourself while driving – Icy roads mean that you need more time to react to obstacles and accidents, so be sure your eyes are on the road.
- Do not rush or speed in traffic – the faster you go on slick roads, the more distance you need to come to a safe and complete stop, and speeding may mean you do not have the space you need.
- Give other cars more space – it is best to give cars double the normal distance that you usually give them while driving, even if you are certain that the roads are clear and salted.
- Do not forget your headlights – even during the day, headlights can make the difference in whether you come home safely. Headlights grant you the ability to see better and ensure that others can see you!
- Pack the proper supplies – everyone should have a first aid kit and a basic road safety kit in their car, but you should also have a winter safety kit during the snowy season. This kit should include extra gloves, socks, and a blanket to keep warm, and supplies to dig yourself out of the snow.
- Avoid cruise control – cruise control can lower your awareness of what your car is doing, making it easier to lose control when you need it most.
- Take it slow on turns – exit ramps and intersections are a prime location to fish-tail your car. Reduce your speed to minimize the chance of it happening.
- Use your seatbelt- with the increase in accidents in the winter, a seatbelt is more vital than ever.
- Trust your instincts – if you feel like it is unsafe to drive in the snowstorm, it probably is. Stay indoors and stay safe.
A bit of foresight and patience can go a long way in keeping yourself and others safe this winter. Plan ahead with these tips before getting on the roads to make sure you can enjoy many more winters to come!