5 Winter Driving Tips For You and Your Coworkers
- Dec 04, 2018
Everyone who commutes to work knows how necessary winter driving tips are. It doesn’t matter if you work at a school, airport, parks department, or golf course: Winter weather is hard to drive in.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center, winter car accidents kill over 800 Americans each year. In fact, car accidents kill more Americans than any other weather-related risk.
To promote workplace safety this winter, we’ve gathered a list of the best winter driving tips. You can use this list for yourself and share it with your coworkers and family members so that they can be safer drivers this winter.
1. Take It Slow
The first winter driving tip on our list in one of the simplest: Slow down.
Whether you’re starting, stopping, turning, or switching lanes you need to do it slowly when winter weather is a threat. The old saying “slow and steady” is your key to navigating snowy or icy roads safely.
Why? When you’re on slippery surfaces it’s harder for your vehicle to gain and keep traction. It’s also harder for your vehicle to stop. If you’re in a rush, you might as well stay put until the winter weather passes. Trying to rush on icy or snowy roadways will endanger your life as well as the lives of others on the road.
If you only remember one winter driving tip from this list it should be this one!
2. Don’t Stop
Stopping is a part of driving. Whether you’re stopping to let pedestrians pass or stopping at a traffic light, it’s a necessary skill. However, during winter weather events, you should actually try not to stop. If you can, come to a slow roll at deserted intersections. If you keep moving, it’ll be easier for you to maintain traction and control of your vehicle.
You should also never stop while traveling uphill. If you do stop, you will most likely get stuck or start sliding backwards. The best way to tackle a snowy hill is by accelerating a little at the bottom and maintaining a steady pace all the way up. If you do try to increase your speed up a hill, your tires will most likely start spinning.
Keep moving in the snowy weather – just do it slowly!
3. Increase Your Following Distance
When the pavement is dry, drivers should stay 3-4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of them. This is called maintaining a safe following distance. Since winter weather conditions make it harder for your vehicle to stop, you need to increase this following distance to 8-10 seconds at the very least.
When it comes to driving in dangerous conditions, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Give yourself room so that you have time to react and maintain control of your vehicle in the case of a sudden stop or object blocking the road.
4. Be Prepared Ahead of Time
The best winter driving tip is preparedness.
You need to be ready to handle the elements ahead of time. We recommend always keeping at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times since weather-related delays can take a very long time. Another tip is to keep blankets and an emergency kit in your car in case you get stuck somewhere.
It’s also a best practice to know what weather to expect on the roads before you head out. You can tune into your local weather station or – better yet – access your own real-time weather map. Depending on your organization, you may already have a weather safety intelligence solution on hand.
5. Stay In (If Possible)
If roadways are dangerous to snow or ice, do yourself a favor and stay where you are. In today’s digital age, a lot of businesses can allow their employees to work from home during blizzards. Even if your business doesn’t have this luxury, you should really weigh the risk vs. the reward.
It doesn’t have to pertain to work, either. If you have an event like a concert or hockey game you should stay in. If your kid has a play date you should stay in. Use your common sense and your best judgement and always know that Mother Nature is more powerful than you think!
Your Winter Weather Headquarters
Want more helpful tips and information about winter weather? You’ve come to the right place! We have tons of winter weather resources from our weather experts ready for you to dive into.
If you’d like to learn what the top winter weather risks are, you can read about them on our blog. Spoiler Alert: Car accidents are the number one risk!
Are you wondering what’s in store for the 2018-19 winter season? Our meteorologists just gave their annual Winter Outlook in November 2018. You can check out the highlights and watch the free webinar by clicking this link.
If you have any questions about winter risks, this winter’s forecast, or anything else winter weather-related, feel free to ask in the comments below!