Driving during the winter months can be brutal. The cold harsh weather brings about ice and snowstorms, making the roads more dangerous for driving as compared to other times of the year. Most road accidents in winter are usually caused by slippery roads and low visibility. Knowing the possible dangers you might face when driving during winter would help you take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents.
Below are some of the most common road accidents in winter that you should watch out for and some tips on how to avoid them.
Rear-end collisions happen when a vehicle hits the vehicle in front of it. This could be due to various reasons, such as the vehicle in front stopping abruptly or the driver of the vehicle at the back is unable to stop in time. While this kind of accident is common throughout the year, the road conditions during the winter make it even more difficult to avoid. Ice or snow can make roads more slippery than usual, reducing the traction of the vehicle’s wheels. This could cause the automobile to slide or skid out of control after stepping on the brakes.
To avoid rear-end collisions especially during winter, it is important to leave extra distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This would give you ample stopping time. It is also vital to reduce your speed especially when approaching intersections.
Accidents due to poor visibility
Blizzards, hail and heavy snowfall can be major causes of winter accidents because they can significantly lower visibility on the road, even more so at night. Accumulated snow on the roads and roadsides can cover up inanimate objects, and can make it hard for drivers to see pedestrians, animals and other vehicles.
You can avoid accidents due to poor visibility is by checking the weather forecast. If the visibility will be very low, it is better to just stay where you are until the weather condition is better. Drive only when you really have to, but proceed with extreme caution.
Accidents due to poor car condition
Busted headlights and brake lights can be a big problem especially in low visibility conditions because you will have a hard time seeing the road. Similarly, other drivers will find it hard to see you if you do not have lights. Broken windshield wipers and faulty defroster fans can also cause problems when driving under poor visibility. Worn out tires have poor traction and could increase the possibility of your vehicle skidding on slippery icy roads.
Before winter starts, it is important to take your vehicle to the auto repair shop for a routine checkup. Make sure it is in tip top condition before taking it for a drive during the winter months.
When you take your vehicle out for a drive in winter, remember these possible dangers and how to avoid them. When the weather and road conditions are not good, it would be better to just stay off the road and drive only when really necessary.
Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited offers the best auto body repair Columbia MO has to offer.