This winter is building up to be a cold one with early snow and a lot of it. Road conditions are turning dangerous, and there are winter hazards that you should keep in mind
Whether it’s the glare from the sun or the constant falling snow, wintertime wreaks havoc on your vision. Road markings become hard to see because of the snow, and your vision gets limited if it’s snowing. Turn on your headlights and taillights on to make sure your car gets seen by other motorists. However, don’t rely on those taillights to mark the distance. Stalled vehicles being towed by trucks won’t have their lights on, and it’s sometimes hard to see tow truck’s light bar, especially in a snowy morning. Wear sunglasses for the glare and try to keep your windshields running. Clean or replace them if they’re not removing snow efficiently, as blind spots can be dangerous during the winter. Be on the lookout for red LED lights that may signal accidents or hazards further down the road. Fill an old sock with kitty litter (preferably silica) and keep it in your car. It should absorb moisture and keep your windows from fogging up. Just make sure to label the sock so that cops don’t mistake it as meth if you get pulled over.
Safe braking distances go up by ten times when the roads are iced. Snow tires can somewhat help in snowy conditions, but iced roads still pose a problem. Drive slower to decrease the momentum of your car. The faster you go, the faster it is to maneuver or stop your vehicle. Take note of the distance between your vehicle and the car ahead of you. Even at just 20mph, your car needs a distance of over 100 yards to stop safely. Pay particular attention to roads that fall under the shadow of a mountain or a series of buildings; these roads have higher chances of being covered in black ice. Stick to one route to familiarize yourself with where the road gets slick and where accidents might occur. Unfamiliar roads bring a lot of surprises, and a little distraction can be costly when road conditions are at their worst.
Getting stuck in the snow can be disastrous if you’re unprepared. Keep a winter kit along with your spare tire during winter. The kit should include a shovel, an ice scraper, booster cables (if your battery dies), and cat litter (again) for traction. Typical emergency or warning signs might not get seen, so bring a couple of LED-powered signs just in case you hit a ditch and get mired. If your car slips off the road, expect other vehicles to do the same. Don’t exit your vehicle until it’s safe and carefully note approaching cars before setting up your warning lights.
Winter makes every road a dangerous one. Slow it down, focus on the road, and stay calm when the unforeseen happens. Winter is a test of your patience and driving skills, and the test lasts for three whole months.