Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

I live in a snow belt so winter driving comes with the territory.  I'm not afraid to drive on snow or ice packed roads, but I do drive differently. I'm always nervous about what the other drivers on the road might do, so many reckless winter drivers, that don't stop to think before they get behind the wheel.

There are so many different things you can do to keep you, your family and the other drivers safe during winter driving conditions.  Planning ahead and being prepared could make all the difference. 

 Here are a few safety tips that I think are important and will help keep your family safer while driving on slick and snow covered roads:

 SLOW DOWN: Just because the speed limit says 60 mph doesn't mean it's safe. Adjust your driving speed according to the outside weather conditions. It's not safe to drive 60 mph if it's snowing heavily outside or if the roads are slick.  Plus, your visibility is decreased and it takes longer for your vehicle to come to a stop! 

 BE PREPARED: Make sure to keep emergency supplies in your vehicle at all times. Jackets, blankets, flashlight, jumper cables, snacks, water and a first aid kit are among the most important!  Hopefully you will never have to use them but if you do, you'll be happy they are available.

ALLOW EXTRA TIME:  When roads are slick and snow covered it's always best to stay home whenever possible.  However, if you must go somewhere give yourself an extra 15 to 30 minutes to get there.  It's always better to to be early (or late) than to get into an accident along the way.

 FILL UP: During the winter months it's especially important to keep your gas tank full. You might get stuck and being able to keep your vehicle running is going to keep you warm.

PAY ATTENTION: When you are the driver of a vehicle you are responsible for every other person inside that vehicle as well. Don't let distractions inside the vehicle take your attention away from what's going on outside the vehicle.

 DRIVE DEFENSIVELY: Be aware of other drivers on the road. Just because you see them doesn't mean that they see you. Being alert could serve as a very important tool for both you and the other driver.

HEADLIGHTS:  Keep your headlights on, it helps oncoming vehicles see you!

Driving is a wonderful thing and it shouldn't be taken lightly. The choices you make when behind the wheel of a vehicle not only affect you but everyone else around you. Be safe, drive carefully and enjoy where the road takes you.

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**I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points.

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