While a fresh Michigan snowfall looks majestic, the resulting snow, slush and ice wreaks havoc on our roads and may quickly turn your drive home into an insurance nightmare.
When accidents happen, the resulting liability issues, medical bills and auto insurance premium increases present drivers with expensive and daunting challenges. That’s why safe winter driving remains the best solution to help you to avoid these problems.
Check out these 5 tips for safe winter driving:
- Clean Your Car: Before driving anywhere, take the time to dust off any excess snow from your vehicle. This includes your windows, hood, roof and side view mirrors. Not only will a snow-free vehicle make your view clearer, but it will protect other drivers from getting hit by any icy debris left on your car.
- Slow Down: Remember that speed limits are set for ideal conditions — dry roads in the daytime. During the winter, smart drivers adjust their speed limits to account for icy conditions and the extra time it takes to stop. You should also slow the acceleration and deceleration of your car when coming to and leaving stop signs to avoid sliding or tail-spinning.
- Be Prepared: Sometimes, accidents happen; and that’s why it’s important to be prepared for any driving situation. Equip your car with a winter driving survival kit that includes essential items should you find yourself stuck in a ditch or stranded on the side of the road. Many kits include a flashlight, tire chains or cat litter, flares, a blanket and tools.
- Leave More Space: It’s recommended to leave at least one car length (2-3 seconds) between you and the car in front of you. During less than ideal conditions, increasing that space to two car lengths (5-6 seconds), adds some wiggle room, should you or the driver behind you hit a patch of ice.
- When In Doubt, Wait It Out: If the forecast predicts heavy snowfall or sleet, it’s always best to stay home and not risk the drive. If your trip is absolutely necessary, then plan ahead and follow the above tips for a safer winter drive.