While we strive to be safe on the job, driving to and from work each day is one of the most dangerous things we do. Here are some tips to keep in mind when driving in winter weather:
Before you leave:
- Make sure your vehicle is prepared for the winter – this means checking your battery, tires (tread and tire pressure) and wiper blades.
- Avoid letting your gas tank become less than half full – this can cause your gas line to freeze.
- Start your vehicle 10-15 minutes before commuting to work. This will ensure your vehicle has adequate time to defrost, giving you full visibility. Also, it’s a great way to stay warm!
On your drive:
- Drive slow, evaluate the pace of the other vehicles on the road.
- Increase following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Consider a following distance of 8-10 seconds.
- Give larger vehicles plenty of room and space to stop – larger vehicles such as semi-trucks will not be able to stop as fast as you.
- If you begin to lose control – steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane.
- If there is no visibility – consider pulling off of the highway or road into a parking lot to wait out the winter storm.
- If you get into a crash – stay in your vehicle until help arrives and it is safe to exit. Never exit your vehicle on a roadway.
What not to do:
- Don’t exceed the speed limit. Avoid rushing to work.
- Don’t allow your vehicle’s capabilities to give you a false sense of security – if you drive a small sedan or a 4×4 vehicle, you need to take the same precautions.
- Avoid tailgating – always avoid doing this, especially during inclement weather.
- Don’t use cruise control in wintery conditions.