Winter driving safety tips

In keeping with our winter weather preparation/prevention tips, we’d like to offer the following winter driving tips. These tips are from on the Washington State Department of Transportation website.

Ice and snow means take it slow. It’s important to protect yourself and your passengers. Allow extra time to reach your destination during inclement weather. It takes only one unprepared or careless drive to slow or stop traffic. Don’t be that driver who shuts down the road.

  • Drive for conditions — slower speeds, slower acceleration
  • Use your headlights
  • Don’t use cruise control
  • Remember that four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles don’t stop or steer better on ice; be careful!
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, offramps, bridges or shady spots
  • If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it until it’s safe to pass. Remember a snowplow driver has a limited field of vision. Stay back (15 car lengths) until you’re sure it’s safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road
  • On multi-lane roadways, snow plows often need to clear the center, throwing snow, ice and slush into nearby lanes. If approaching an oncoming snow plow, slow down and give the plow a little extra room
  • Check your tires and tire pressure during cold weather (tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms)
  • Get a vehicle winter maintenance check-up. Check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers
  • Keep your fuel tank full; don’t let it fall below half a tank on winter trips

Winter survival kit
It’s always good to carry some extra supplies in your vehicle for winter driving. Keep a basic winter survival kit on hand, including flashlights, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots and a first-aid kit. Also keep these items on hand; tire chains, ice scraper/snowbrush, jumper cables and road flares. Click here for a “What to carry in your car” reminder.

If worse comes to worse and you find yourself stranded, be safe; stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

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January 25th, 2013 by Wyatt Insurance Services