Winter Driving Risks and How to Avoid Them

Winter Driving Risks

Crackling fireplaces bursting with warmth, gently falling snow, homemade scarves of thick wool, and fresh, hot cocoa make winter appealing and enjoyable. However, there is one aspect of the winter season that is particularly troublesome and potentially dangerous. That is, driving on those slick, icy roads.

According to the Department of Transportation, nearly a quarter of all vehicular accidents are directly related to less-than-favorable weather conditions. Winter is considered to pose the highest level of dangers for drivers. In this guide, you will learn about common winter driving risks and will be provided with a few tips on how to avoid them.

The Dangers

In several states across the nation – including New York – common characteristics associated with winter weather include freezing rain, unusual flooding, immensely bitter plummeting temperatures, and heavy snow. Two of the main dangers that exist on the roadways during the winter months are the formation of ice and the development of black ice.

Ice occurs when the outdoor temperatures fall below freezing. Black ice is a type of thin icy layer that appears to be wet, rather than frozen. In most instances, drivers may not even realize that black ice has formed until they find themselves at a loss of control over their vehicle.

When drivers come in contact with ice or black ice, the tires on the vehicle may fail to grip appropriately. This hinders the individual’s ability to engage in the acts of steering and stopping. Instead of being in control of where the vehicle goes and the speed of the vehicle, the ice or black ice seemingly gains control of the vehicle.

If there are inclines or declines in the roadway, this has a direct impact on the speed and/or positioning of the vehicle. In essence, the most serious of dangers is loss of control. The most serious risks resulting in loss of control are the ice and black ice that may development on those roadways.

Avoiding Roadway Dangers

There are many winter driving tips that may help you avoid roadway dangers during the winter months. These include the following:

  1. Engage in the act of winterizing your vehicle. Examples of measures you may take include getting snow tires, putting chains on the tires, ensuring proper levels of antifreeze in your vehicle, switching to thinner oil, obtaining wiper fluid that is resistant to freezes, and having an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  2. Leave a large amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you when driving on roads that are considered to be slick.
  3. Do not rush to get to your destination. Leave earlier than normal so that you may drive slower.
  4. Remember that bridges, overpasses, and similar sections of the road will develop ice before other parts of the road.
  5. Always keep your windshield clear and clean so that you may see. Never forget to keep an ice scraper on hand.
  6. Never slam on your brakes as this could result in long-distance skidding.
  7. Always drive with your lights on when it is snowing or has snowed so that you may see and other drivers may see you.
  8. Never attempt to pass others – especially snowplows.
  9. If you become stuck, do not press hard on the gas so that the wheels spin, just rock the vehicle back and forth to get out of the dilemma.
  10. Be sure to avoid areas with large amounts of salt as this substance can result in the roadways freezing faster.

Caution should be exercised on all roadways during the winter months. In addition to the above-mentioned tips, you should make certain that you carry personal auto insurance in New York.

For more information on coverages and amounts, contact us today at Modica Insurance by calling the following number: 718-855-1836