Driving safely during all the seasons is a must to reduce your risk of accidents (and your insurance premiums) however, there are many more precautions to take during the winter months to ensure safer roads to drive on. First, if you have any questions about the rules of the roads, where you live or will be traveling to, you can visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles also referred to its acronym, the DMV. Also, at the start of every year, new driving guidelines are printed and should be looked at by everyone who operates a vehicle.
I also advise driving slower, always always always having your headlights on and driving defensively. A mistake many people make while driving through poor weather is driving too fast, whether it is speeding or even going the speed limit. Here are a few warning signs that you are driving too fast:
1. If you can not see far ahead of your car but are remaining the speed limit, you may need to slow down. Make sure you wear your glasses / contacts if you need them to drive, even if it’s only a recommendation from your Optometrist.
2. Only drive as fast as it is safe to come to a complete stop.
3. I recommend reducing your speed if the wind is moving your car, if there’s a possibility of ice on the ground, or if it’s hailing.
Driving with your headlights on in the winter is highly recommended because it helps you become more awareable by other drivers. White, gray and blue colored vehicles have the tendency to blend in with the road making it harder for other drivers to see, so causing an accident.
Driving defensively is not a term coined for being a rude driver or taking someone else’s turn at the four-way stop. Driving defensively is the same as driving cautiously, meaning watching other driver’s behavior and driving accordingly. A helpful tip is watching for people who may be drinking and driving or speeding (because the Holiday season is filled with cocktails and places to go). When I am in a situation where there are irresponsible drivers, I replan my route to get there in a hopefully safer way, even if it is a longer drive.
These tips have been passed down to me from my parents and so far, I have been accident free. Do not feel ashamed if you need to pick up a brochure from the DMV for the new or current laws of the road. Happy Holidays and safe driving!