Winter is upon us, and if you haven’t started to notice unsafe drivers and conditions around you then it’s coming soon. Winter is the most dangerous season for road conditions, and also a season when people are driving frequently for holiday celebrations and errands. Winter driving can be incredibly dangerous, but careful habits can really help you to stay safe out on the winter roads this season.
- Check the Weather: get into the habit of checking the weather frequently. You know how quickly the weather can change, and a clear day can turn into a giant snowstorm on your way home from work. Tracking storms can help you avoid being on the road during the worst weather conditions.
- Leave Early: Just leave early. Leave early for work, leave early for your appointments, leave the parties early. Give yourself extra time on the roads to accommodate traffic, weather, accidents, or other factors that could cause you more stress.
- Slow Down: Adjusting your speed by just 5 miles per hour can reduce the risk of fatality and serious injury in a dramatic way. You can’t control the other drivers but you can decrease your personal risk by decreasing your speed.
- Stay Full: During the winter especially it is a good idea to keep your tank above half-full at all times. You will probably use more fuel than normal and don’t want to get stuck in a frozen parking lot with low fuel.
- Combine Trips: Carpooling, combining trips, or using public transit can significantly decrease pollution, which is a huge deal in Utah during winter months. Our air quality suffers heavily due to our mountain valley and inversion conditions, so do what you can to prevent excess pollution and we’ll have better visibility and cleaner air.
- Tire Maintenance: Are your tires fully inflated? How is the tread? Is the wearing even? Do you need snow tires or chains? Your tires are what keep you from sliding and spinning out on icy roads, so don’t forget to monitor them closely. If you’re not sure how your tires should look, take them to an auto shop right away.
- Gradual Gas & Brake: One of the best ways to prevent sliding on the roads is to be very gradual as you accelerate or brake in your car. Rapid and sudden reactions are very dangerous on the road, so start practicing gradual reactions now.
We hope you have a very happy and safe holiday season that lasts all winter long!