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Driving can be especially dangerous in snowy and icy weather.
Follow these tips for safe driving:
- Prepare your vehicle before departing.
Ensure windows are scraped, snow is brushed off, headlights are cleared, tire pressure is correct; wipers are functioning and plenty of windshield washer fluid in the reservoir.
- Think about winter tires.
Specialized tires with deep tread and soft compounds can make a significant difference in winter driving conditions. Whether you have winter tires or all-season tires, they should have a minimum tread depth of 7/32” (1/4 inch).
- Plan accordingly. Allow plenty of travel time.
Allow plenty of time to get to your destination so you have no reason to rush. Ask yourself if it’s really necessary to travel across town in a snowstorm for a meeting that could easily be rescheduled. Let people know when to expect you.
- Take your foot off the gas.
Adjust your speed for the weather. The faster you drive in slippery conditions, the harder it is to stop. Take your time and arrive safely. Accelerate and make turns slowly and with caution. This prevents you from losing control of your vehicle.
- Increase your following distance.
It takes longer to stop in slippery conditions, so you’ll need to increase your following distance. Your following distance should be enough to respond to any situation in front of you; Staying at least 3 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you is a good rule of thumb.
- Be aware of black ice, especially at intersections.
This ice is difficult to see, and it can send you sliding. Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses. They can be slippery even when other roads are not. Avoid accelerating on bridge decks where black ice might be present.
- Be aware of white ice and crowned roads.
Snow packed roads can turn into ice, and the slope of the road’s surface can increase the risk of losing control.
- Stay in your lane.
Crossing through lanes of slush and snow can cause your vehicle to spin out. You can’t be too careful here; especially at higher speeds.
- Turn on your headlights.
Even if it’s light outside, this helps you see and be seen.
- Stay back from snowplows.
Stay at least 300 feet behind a snowplow, and never pass one — It’s the law. Snow plows create clouds of snow that can cause low visibility.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car.
Include a blanket, warm clothes, something for traction, a shovel, a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, a battery-powered radio, snack foods, water, emergency flares or reflectors, a tow chain or rope and a way to power your cell phone.
For specific questions regarding safe driving tips or for customized training for your employees, contact your local Marsh & McLennan Agency representative.