6 tips for driving this winter season

Ahhhh.. Winter Driving.  Something only a true Mid-Westerner can understand.  What keeps some states from working, going to school, or even leaving the house is like a dusting to us.  I have been trying to put the snow into perspective and see it through my kids eyes this year.  It’s easy for me because I don’t have a commute, however, I think that we can all use a little bit of the child’s perspective.   My kids talk about how pretty the snow is on the pines, we listen to music together, talk about our day, and have been embracing the fact that Mother Nature has provided us with some extra time to enjoy each other.  If you are alone in the car during the Winter driving, maybe you can use the time to reflect on your day, catch up on some audio books, or just enjoy the peace.

While many of us have lived in a snowy climate our whole lives, it seems many people forget the skills and level of caution needed to drive in adverse winter conditions.

Here are some reminders that will help keep you and your family safe when traveling this winter season.

1. Be aware of changing weather conditions. If you don’t need to go out in a snow storm, don’t. If you do need to travel, use technology to your advantage. There are many weather apps for Smartphones that provide up-to-date weather conditions and send severe weather alerts to your phone. To sign up for weather alerts from The Weather Channel, click here.

2. If you’re involved in an accident stay in your car. While it may be instinctual to get out of your car and survey the damage, don’t. It’s safer to remain in your vehicle. From your car, you can call your family, police, insurance company, or a tow truck. If you’re in a pileup and can safely get your car off the roadway, do it. If you can’t and are in the driver’s seat with more cars coming your way, try and slide into the passenger seat and put on your seatbelt.

3. Pay attention to road conditions and what’s happening in front of you. The link below provides live camera footage from a Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicle’s traffic cam. As you watch the video, you’ll see that traffic is moving slowly and the approaching cars are traveling too fast for conditions. You can learn a lot by watching this video. It’s quite amazing.

Wisconsin pileup

4. If you’re approaching an accident or the road is in poor condition, turn on your hazard lights. This immediately alerts people behind you that a potentially dangerous situation exists and that they should begin to slow down.

5. Avoid using cruise control when driving in rain or snow. The slippery surface can cause your tires to slip, putting your car into an out-of-control spin.

6. Keep a safe following distance. Experts recommend keeping a safe following distance of eight to ten seconds. A car traveling at 60mph covers 88 feet per second, so it can take a car traveling on wet or snow-covered roads 6 to 10 seconds, and more than 500 feet, to stop.

For more tips for driving in winter conditions, click here.

To learn more about the coverage your insurance provides after a multi-car accident, click on the article written by Brandy Enger from R&R Insurance titled, “Multi-Car Crashes: Who’s Responsible and How to Stay Safe If You’re In One.”

Information and photo courtesy of West Bend