It is always a good idea to do your best to avoid auto accidents, regardless of season. Not only are car and truck accidents extremely dangerous to your personal health, and to the health of your passengers and those in the other vehicle, but they are also expensive. Paying for repairs and increased insurance premiums can take a serious bite out of your budget.
During the winter months here in central and western Maryland, the risk of a car accident is increased dramatically. The reason for this is simple, of course – weather. When winter weather rolls in from Garrett to Frederick counties, you will want to be extra cautious as you make your way through day to day life. The following tips should help you avoid getting into trouble on the roads this winter.
Increased Following Distance
This is the first adjustment you should make on the road when the weather turns ugly. By following farther behind the car in front of you, there will be more time to react when necessary. If the roads are a bit slick, it is going to take your car longer to come to a stop – so adding to your following distance is a smart adjustment. It should be noted that this is a tip which you can use during the rest of the year as well. For instance, if a summer rainstorm moves in, follow farther behind the car in front so you can stop safely without jamming on the brakes.
This is a hot-button issue in the modern world, as more and more drivers are distracted by their smartphones as they go along. Whether you are distracted by your phone or just the radio, it is your responsibility as a driver to pay close attention to what you are doing. It is obviously important to pay attention all year long, and that certainly includes the winter months when you may be dealing with ice or driving in the dark more often. There will be plenty of time to check your messages when you arrive at your destination, so pay attention until the journey is complete.
One of the best things you can do to improve your winter driving is to be as smooth as possible when changing speeds. If you are accelerating, do so gradually and avoid putting your car in situations where a sudden burst of speed is necessary. At the same time, you should also strive to slow your car down gradually as well, easing onto the brake rather than stomping it into the floor. You can’t be sure of your traction when driving in cold winter weather, so taking it easy during acceleration and deceleration is a good habit to learn.
Above all else, you need to be smart when operating a vehicle in the winter. If you aren’t sure about the safety of the roads, stay home or make other arrangements for transportation in a vehicle equipment for winter weather. Taking unnecessary risks is one of the leading causes of winter accidents, so keep your patience and only proceed to your destination when you feel completely comfortable with the circumstances.