Minnesotans know that when the north winds blow, winter weather isn’t far behind. When snow and ice cover the roads, even a simple commute can turn into a risky adventure.
Even if you have been traveling winter roads for several years, it never hurts to have a refresher.
Always be prepared
Before winter begins, make sure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Check your car’s battery, tire pressure, fluid levels, lights and windshield wipers. You should also have a snow scraper, brush, and an emergency kit that contains a snow shovel, blankets, ready-to-eat food, water and a first-aid kit. Furthermore, always make sure your gas tank is at least half full.
Check the weather and familiarize yourself with your route, even if you use a GPS. Let others know your route and estimated time of arrival.
Adjust your speed for when you’re driving on snow and ice. Accelerate and decelerate slowly to maintain control of your vehicle. Avoid sudden braking or steering, which can cause skidding. If you find yourself in a skid, remember to steer in the direction you want to go and pump the brakes gently. You will also want to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you.
If you find yourself driving during a winter emergency, it’s important to stay calm. Focus on maintaining control of your vehicle and finding a safe space to pull over and shelter if necessary.
Winter driving can be challenging, but with the proper preparation, you should be able to navigate safely. And, if you ever find yourself hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.