With roads covered with ice and snow this time of the year, the hazards are tenfold. In fact, drivers are not advised to go on the road in winter weather. Then again, in the case of workers in charge of delivering goods or transporting equipment and materials to different work sites, traveling during winter is a necessity. If you happen to be one of them, then read on to know the 12 safety tips on driving in winter weather:
1. Set some extra time for travel. Consider delaying the trip if the weather is harsh.
2. Buckle up first before driving. Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
3. Slow down. Whether you’re inexperienced or a pro, it’s always best to slow down while driving on slippery surfaces, especially in winter weather.
4. Before going on the road, inspect your tires. Make sure they have sufficient tread. A tread of at least 4 millimeters should be enough. Remember that the more tread there is, the greater the traction and amount of control available.
5. Keep a high pressure for your tires. Raising it to 10 percent should keep you safe. A high tire pressure on slippery surfaces helps in keeping tread open and channeling snow and water away. Also, it reduces the risk of sidewall damage to your tires.
6. Avoid making sudden movements of the steering wheel when driving in winter weather. Always accelerate and brake smoothly.
7. Set a following distance that is twice that on dry surfaces.
8. Stay in the right-hand lane unless you need to pass other vehicles. Use turn signals when changing lanes. Also, make sure to change lanes slowly or you’ll be more at risk of skidding.
9. Always reduce your speed when approaching intersections covered with snow or ice.
10. Drive with low-beam headlights on. This way, your vehicle is more visible to pedestrians and other vehicles. Low-beam headlights are brighter than daytime running lights and with them on, you can activate your tail lights.
11. Slow down when you’re approaching a bridge. Remember that concrete and steel bridges tend to be icy.
12. Watch out for “black ice” on the road. It usually makes a road look like shiny new asphalt. Remember that pavement in winter weather looks grey-white.