Bad winter weather is all too common for drivers in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. Obviously, the best safety tip in avoiding a car accident in bad winter weather is to stay off the roads. But, this is not always a viable option. Many of us need to get to work or reach an important destination such as a pharmacy or hospital, so if you are out driving in winter weather keep these practical safety tips in mind.
1. Watch out for shaded areas on the road. Due to the lack of sun exposure, these shaded areas typically will have snow and ice where the rest of the sunlight roadway is clear of snow and ice.
2. For older cars, check your battery, cable connections, alternator and drive belts. Check your cooling system to make sure that you have the right mix of fresh antifreeze and water. Check hoses for cracks or leaky connections. These checks can prevent an engine from dying on the roadway leaving you stranded in bad weather.
3. Make sure the tires on the car are winter tires or all-season tires. Furthermore, make sure the tires still have good tread. Worn tires will not grip the roadway causing the car to slip and slide.
4. Keep a half a tank of gas in the tank. If you get caught in traffic or in a snowbank, you want sufficient gas to keep the car running and heated.
5. Keep a safety kit in your car that includes a bottle of water, candy bar, flashlight, gloves, jumper cables, and flares.
6. Keep a bag of sand and shovel in the trunk. If you get stuck in snow, you can use the shovel for the snow and then lay down the sand to give your tires traction when getting out of the snow.
Following these safety tips will hopefully prevent a car accident or car breakdown during bad winter weather, but if a car accident does happen, these tips will make the accident a lot more manageable.