Winter driving means facing off against some potentially dangerous conditions. Snow, sleet, and ice are hazards that can’t be ignored. Even fallen leaves littering the road can be treacherous, particularly if they get damp and begin to decay into mush.
Luckily, by taking some basic precautions, you can increase your odds of making it to your destination in one piece. With that in mind, here are some winter driving safety tips that every driver should follow.
Remain Vigilant While on the Road
Vigilance really is the key to remaining safe while on the road. Make sure you constantly scan the road ahead, ensuring you can identify potential hazards that may be in your path. Also, keep an eye on other drivers, both ahead of and behind you. Keep an eye out for brake lights, watch for potentially dangerous movements, and give others a wide berth whenever possible.
Make Sure You’re Seen
While keeping an eye on your surroundings is a must, it’s also helpful to ensure that others can easily see you. Check your lights at every stop to make sure they work. Clean off your lights and reflective tape, too.
Before you change lanes or merge, make sure to use your turn signal. If possible, pause for a moment before you actually move, ensuring those around you have a chance to spot your lights.
Be Mindful of Space
Winter conditions often mean that braking takes longer and is more dangerous. If you brake hard, you’re more likely to lose traction if it’s wet, snowy, or icy. As a result, it’s always best to brake earlier than you would during nicer conditions, ensuring you can slow down at a reasonable pace and avoid traction loss.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that your vehicle isn’t the only one that may have braking issues. Ensure you maintain a safe following distance at all times, reducing the odds that if someone ahead of you has a problem, you’ll end up in an accident.
Know the High-Risk Areas for Ice
Certain roadways are more ice-prone than others. For example, bridges tend to ice up faster than the roads around them. The same can go for intersections and highly shaded segments of roadway. On- and off-ramps are other spots that may have ice issues more frequently than different road sections.
Recognize the areas that may be at especially high-risk for ice. When you spot one, approach it with caution.
Maintain Your Visibility
If your ability to see is hindered at any point, address it immediately. Use your air conditioner to prevent fog on your windshield. If your mirrors are coated with ice, fog, or dirt, stop and clean them off.
Remember, if you can’t see, you’re in danger. Visibility ensures you can monitor the area around you and spot potential hazards, so don’t stay on the road if you’re having issues seeing.
Gain Access to The Best Professional Driver Jobs
In the end, each of the winter driving safety tips above can increase your odds of reaching your destination successfully. If you have a safe driving record, PTS is hiring drivers like you for CDL A and CDL B jobs in your area.