These Winter Safety Tips Will Keep You and Your Wallet Out Of Trouble!
If you live in Texas or parts of the Midwest, then you just received your first taste of the winter season. Driving on roads in these conditions should be avoided if at all possible. However, sometimes you don’t have that luxury. And while road crews do a good job of keeping the main highways clear, you may find yourself having to take side roads and back streets that are anything but agreeable.
Since we probably have not seen the half of what Jack Frost has in store for us, it’s time to break out some safety tips for dealing with the winter season.
First, do not put the car in drive until you are sure there are no visual impairments.
Our country gets in such a hurry to get to where we are going that sometimes we pull out of the driveway without removing all of the ice from the back windshield and other visually important areas. We may also take off without knocking loose the layers of snow that sit on top of the cab. Big mistake! Backing out of parking lots when there is still a chunk of ice to contend with is a great way of backing into someone else. The dangerous thing about not removing that snow from the roof of your car: on that first hard brake, it usually removes itself down the front of your windshield and right in to your line of sight.
Second, stop rushing!
We spoke in a recent blog post about the increase in aggressive driving during the winter holidays. Most of the aggressive driving problems stemmed from motorists going faster than the posted speed limits. While you may not see any 80 or 90 mile-per-hour drivers in the snow and ice, many still make the mistake of trying to drive as if they’re in normal conditions. That means going the speed limit when the threat of black ice or slick patches are at their peaks. Don’t do it! Getting where you are going late is far better than not getting there at all, so slow down! Mother Nature follows different rules regarding the speed limit in wintry conditions. If driving in the threat or reality of a winter storm is a situation you are experiencing, try not to focus on anything but the short stretch of road in front of you and keep a safe distance from other cars.
Third, try to use a carport or garage when storing your vehicle.
Direct exposure to extreme cold can sap a battery and bring the functionality of your automobile into question. Starting a cold winter day feeling behind places us in catch-up mode, and ultimately that can lead to accidents — some that are potentially serious or life threatening. By keeping your vehicle physically covered, it stands a better chance of working smoothly when you wake up in the morning, keeping you ahead to make wise driving decisions in tough situations.
Finally, watch your step!
Not all winter safety hazards relate to driving. Your home and walkways can be particularly hazardous once the ice comes. When leaving the house, wear heavy shoes with good traction and try to avoid ice patches. As with driving, go a little slower than normal and watch out for surroundings. If there are any large trees nearby, attempt to trim them back before ice storms hit. Falling branches can do more harm to a structure than you might think. They can also cause injury along with falling icicles when you’re walking under them.
Winter is a time to adjust the way we think about safety. Through careful planning — whether on the road or on foot — you can avoid the pitfalls that come with this time of the year.