Driving can be a dangerous activity at any time of the year, but winter conditions are arguably the largest threat to public safety on the road. This is because winter storms bring about unique challenges for drivers to manage in addition to the risks that are already present. These are some of the most common winter driving hazards to look out for and how to mitigate them as you’re driving this season.
When it comes to the potential dangers of driving in the winter, ice and the slipperiness of the roads are often the first concern that comes to mind. It’s this hazard that can result in everything from rear-end collisions to spinouts, both of which can cause a significant amount of damage and injury. So, if you suspect your local roads are going to be icy during the following months, make sure you equip your car with winter tires. You should also drive slower to increase the amount of time you have to react.
Low visibility is also one of the most common winter driving hazards due to the fogginess that often comes with heavy snowstorms. As powdery snow kicks up in the wind, it can greatly obscure your field of vision and make it difficult to see approaching dangers before it’s too late. For this reason, it’s essential that you reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. This way, you’ll still have time to respond should traffic suddenly stop.
While car batteries won’t typically die while a vehicle is in use, they can die once you shut off the engine and leave the car exposed to low temperatures. Should this happen, your car will fail to start up again, and you’ll end up stranded out in the cold yourself. As such, make sure you store a set of jumper cables in the car and periodically start the engine during your outings to keep the system warm.
Cars have a tendency to run low on fuel during the winter months as well. This is because the engine uses more energy to heat up and keep the equipment in motion, burning through gas much faster than normal. For this reason, it’s imperative that you top your tank off whenever possible and prevent the meter from ever reading below half capacity. This is the best way to ensure you aren’t overusing fuel and won’t run out of juice in the middle of a trip.
For additional help staying safe on the road this winter, reach out to RNR Tire Express. Our tire shop in Charlotte, NC, sells a wide variety of quality winter tires that will help you maintain traction on even the slipperiest roadways. We’ll provide the right models for your car so you can be sure they’re a perfect fit.