Winter Road Safety Tips for All Road Users

If there is any season that challenges drivers and road users, it’s winter. Even with the best prepared vehicles, winter presents some treacherous conditions for drivers. The foggy conditions require you to make the best of precautions and preparations ahead of the cold season to stay safe. According to statistics, the US records approximately 156,000 accidents annually due to icy roads, while more than 1,300 lives are lost on the snowy, icy pavement every winter season. These figures are quite disturbing, and it is essential to check some of these tips to stay safe on the road during winter.

Only drive when it’s necessary

The ideal approach to staying safe on the road during the winter is to avoid driving altogether. If it is not necessary to move in the ice and snow, wait. While this isn’t generally an alternative, it is essential to prepare yourself and your vehicle for safe driving in the cold if you hit the road. There is no point putting yourself in danger driving when you can stay put.

Check your brakes

Every time you go for an oil change, it is essential to have your brakes checked too. Checking your brakes is particularly important when you begin to hear squeaks anytime you press your brake pedal. During winter, your brakes play such a crucial role that they require you to be in the best shape to maintain proper control on the icy, snowy roads.

 When driving on slippery roads, the ideal approach is to ease the pressure off your accelerator and downshift before applying the brakes. However, when you hear grinding while your pedal pumps, your anti-lock brake system is likely kicking in. Maintain your focus on the steering wheel while firmly pressing on the pedal.

Prep your motorcycle for winter riding

A comfortable ride during winter starts with getting proper gear. It is more about putting on the right layer of clothing to protect you from the cold and any potential accidents. Whether you are going for a full leg or sleeve, get the right apparel. Although you may sweat while riding, a good base layer will permit your skin to breathe. These assist sweat dissipating as opposed to getting cold sweat on your body. Other measures like wearing a helmet and other required items may come in handy and give you an advantage during your motorcycle injury case, should there be any.

Stock emergency supplies

Safe winter driving won’t always keep you from trouble. While maintaining the best of precautions, you should prepare for the worst. It is practical to ensure your vehicle is equipped with supplies in the event of an emergency. Include items such as a medical aid kit, blanket, flashlight, shovel, jumper cables, and warm clothing. Likewise, carry some food supplies and water.  A phone charger will also come in handy.

Drive or ride slowly

The safest way to drive on winter roads is to take things slow and easy. Quick and jerky driving will cause your vehicle to slide, slip, and eventually lose control of your car. It can be tempting to step on your gas when others do so, but this could be precarious for yourself and other road users. Driving slowly will give your vehicle better traction, especially when turning, changing lanes, or pulling out on ice or snowy roads. More so, it is easier for your motorcycle to veer off the road during slippery conditions.

Robert Cooke
Rob is a certified mechanic and long-time automotive enthusiast who has worked on everyday passenger vehicles, race and rally cars, and derby cars.