February 18, 2014 9:03 pm 

snow covered red carDriving in snowy conditions can be extremely dangerous and drivers should always pay extra attention when faced with such road conditions. Sometimes it makes more sense to stay put during a snowstorm and wait until the snowplows have cleared the road; however, if it’s absolutely necessary to drive, here are some helpful tips that can help prevent an automobile accident.

Tires:

To achieve proper traction in the snow, it’s important that you get snow tires mounted onto your vehicle. High-performance summer-tires offer little traction in the snow, making an accident much more likely. Even some all-season tires offer little grip in the snow. The proper tires will have a ‘snowflake on the mountain’ symbol on the tire’s sidewall, ensuring that they meet the industry standard for snow traction.

Visibility:

Make sure that your wiper blades are in good condition and wash your vehicle’s windows and mirrors thoroughly, inside and out. Fill the windshield washer system with a high quality anti-icing fluid, and apply Rain-X or other water-shedding product to the windshield.

Headlights:

Make sure that your headlights, blinkers, and brake lights are free and clear of any snow before driving. This will help other drivers to see you coming and improve your visibility.

Black Ice:

Always watch carefully for black ice, if the road appears slick, then it probably is. Remember areas where icy conditions are frequent such as bridges and overpasses.

Be Prepared:

A shortlist of items that you should keep in your vehicle during the winter months includes:

  • a small toolkit
  • first aid kit
  • jumper cables
  • flares
  • a charged cell phone with extra charger
  • shovel
  • winter clothing
  • blanket
  • plastic grocery bags
  • flashlight
  • extra batteries
  • candles and matches
  • emergency tire sealant
  • ice scraper
  • kitty litter or sand
  • wind up radio
  • drinking water
  • and dried food such as beef jerky and granola bars.

Regardless of your skill as a driver, some accidents can’t be avoided. It’s always best to be prepared for such emergencies.

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This post was written by Hauptman, O'Brien, Wolf, & Lathrop