10 Driving Tips To Avoiding Grave Accidents In Winter
The huge percentage of the total number of accidents is mainly caused by driving. Furthermore, almost half of this percentage is due to bad weather. Winter season is known to be a dilemma for many drivers. It is not only because of the coldness outside but also because of the danger that the weather entails.
Safe driving is an important skill that everyone should learn and value, especially when driving on a slippery, wet, and snow-covered road. As much as you want to just take the option of walking to your destination to save yourself from the hassle of driving n winter, the insane low-temperature outside will not let you. To make the matter worst, transportation in winter is also scarce. Unless you have the budget for an expensive taxi fare, you have no other choice but to drive yourself to your destination.
Fortunately, we understand your dilemma; hence, the creation of this article. It aims to impart the 10 most important driving tips to help you live your life longer.
1. Conduct a Tire Test
Your car’s tires are the most important parts to check during winter. Since you are going to drive on a wet and snow-covered road, you need some good tires to create enough friction. To make sure that you have a good set of tires, you can check the tire tread. See to it that the treads are still deep enough to manage the wetness on the road. To do this, you can try using the “penny” test. The idea of penny test is quite simple. You just have to insert the coin between the tread and check if the Lincoln’s head of the coin is visible or not. If you can see the Lincoln head, it means that the tires are already worn out and are no longer safe to use.
If your car’s tires are already worn out, make sure to replace them with new ones before they hit the road. It is also an advantage if you do this routine regularly. You can contact the nearest car shop in your area, but If you know how to change your tires on your own, the better.
2. Use the Winter Tires
Photo Source: http://nkminsurance.com/winter-tire-discount-qa/
The wheel makers understand the need of high-performing wheel especially when the temperature is insanely low. Make sure to change your average tires into the winter ones. Be sure to do this as early as you possible before the snow is already thick. It will be difficult for you to change your tires if the snow is already knee-deep. Winter tires can optimize the performance your entire winter drive. Braking is much easier when you this particular tires. Unlike the longer distance required before you hit the brake in normal tires, winter tires offer the drivers the chance to hit the brake even in a short distance. You can also effectively and easily use the emergency brake whenever necessary.
Winter Tires, also called snow tires, are slightly bigger than normal tires. They also have deeper treads which make them ideal for winter. There are a lot of winter tires available in many car shops, or you can also purchase them on the internet.
3. Clear up Your Window
In winter, it is quite common to experience fog. When the fogs accumulate on your car window, this could be the cause of an accident. Fogs are not the only thing that you need to pay attention to. Snow frost can also block your view from the road; it is even worse that fog. Make sure to clean your window thoroughly before you drive in the middle of winter. You also have to make sure that the windshields are functioning properly. Also, please check beforehand if there are no remnants of snow left on the glass. Since this task can take quite some time to finish, you plan this ahead of time, but do not ever think of skipping this one.
4. Make Sure the Heating System Works
You do not want to freeze to death outside, especially if the temperature is very low. Make sure you have a functional heating system before you go driving. Moreover, make sure to run your car for a few minutes before you get inside. This is to heat the inside of the car before you get in. If you do not enough knowledge about how the car’s heating system works, you can always bring your car to a car shop and have it checked. If you are lucky enough to have neighbor who is a mechanic, then having an expert checked your car would not be that difficult. However, if none of the two options earlier is applicable to you for some reasons, you can always do some research and look for easy steps and ideas on how to check your heating system yourself.
5. Check your Brake
It is a very important pre-driving tip to do. A lot of road accidents, winter or not, are caused by dysfunctional brakes. Have someone to check it if you do not know how the brake system works. However, it would be better if you know how this part functions so that you can easily detect if something is wrong.
6. Secure a Safety and Tool Kit
You never know what will happen on the road while you are driving. So, it is better to be ready at all times just in case there is an emergency. Secure a safety and tool kit inside your car’s trunk. Please take note that winter driving requires an additional safety item. You might need a scraper for scraping frosts from your window, functional flashlights, extra windbreaker or winter coat, a shovel, some mittens, etc. Since the weather is something humans have no control of, it is better to have some safety precautions to ensure your own safety.
7. Watch Out for Black Ice
Photo Source: http://theodysseyonline.com/oklahoma-st/snow-days-as-kid-vs-as-an-adult/271034
Have you ever heard of the word Black ice? It is perhaps one of the most dangerous winter hazards that you can encounter. It is sometimes called the clear ice. It is a thin coating of ice that covers almost the entire surface, usually on the road. Do not be confused with the term black ice. The ice itself is not black; it is crystal clear that let the drivers see through the road beneath the clear ice, thus giving an illusion of a clear and safe road. To avoid any accident, it is better to drive slowly but surely.
8. Avoid Mix Matching your Tires
This is a common mistake that many of us commit. Do not use different sets of tires for your front and back wheels. Tires manufacturers have different standards in making their wheels. Using different sets of tires may affect your car’s suspension which could actually result in accidents. It is better to prepare your wheels beforehand and only buy your wheels from the same manufacturers.
Another thing to remember is to avoid mixing average tires and winter tires even if they come from the same manufacturer. As mentioned earlier, winter tires are slightly different from the normal ones. They are slightly bigger as compared to the normal tires. If you want to use the winter wheels, use all four of them.
9. Make Sure Your lights Function Well
This is particularly important especially if you are driving at night. How can you watch out for black ice and any other winter hazards if you cannot clearly see the road? So, check both your headlights and taillights first.
10. Bring a Cell phone
One common advice we often hear is not to use cell phones when driving, but there is a big difference between using and bringing. You can bring a cell phone but do not use it while driving. You might need one especially for longer trips on the road and in times of car break down. At least, if anything happens, you can call someone for help.