Safe Winter Driving Tips, Part 2

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

The previous post discussed how to prepare for a safe winter driving experience in Wisconsin. There are also several driving skills you should learn so that you will be prepared for treacherous driving conditions.

Practice these maneuvers during the daylight hours before the wet weather hits, so you will be ready for winter:

1. Buckle up

The best way to protect yourself is to always buckle up. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that most accidents happen when pavement is wet. Bad weather conditions mean a higher chance you will end up in a crash, so it is important to make sure you and your passengers are buckled up when experiencing severe conditions. You should also keep anyone under the age of 12 in the back seat.

2. Increase driving distance

When you are following another car during bad weather, you should increase your trailing distance. It takes much longer for vehicles to stop if there is water or ice on the road, so it is important not to follow too closely in inclement conditions. It can also be harder to see what the car in front of you is doing during rain and snowfall, so a bigger gap gives you more time to react.

3. Get to know your brakes

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourages drivers to know what type of brakes are installed in their vehicles. There are different safety features associated with anti-lock and disc brakes. With anti-lock brakes, drivers should stomp down if they start to slide. Disc brakes require a pumping foot action to properly stop the car.

4. Manage sliding

When you are driving in bad weather and start to skid, it is important to know how to handle the wheel. Instead of swerving, you need to steer into the skid. This causes the wheels to counteract the direction that the car is moving and will keep you from spinning out of control.

5. Practice safe driving habits

Typical safe driving habits should be enforced even more diligently when the weather is poor. These include:

· Not driving drunk

· Not using cell phones

· Avoid distraction inside or outside of the vehicle

· No drowsy driving

These rules are necessary when conditions are good but even more important to follow when the roads are wet or icy.

Preparing to be safe winter driver is important for everyone but especially for those facing long Wisconsin winters. Those involved in a car accident are advised to contact an experienced attorney to get the help they need to get back on the road.