Driving on Virginia roads is often dangerous in the winter, especially if you are not prepared.
Here are five winter driving tips to help you protect yourself and your loved ones.
1. Maintain your vehicle
Regular car maintenance may help you avoid getting stranded on the side of the road in the middle of a winter storm. Tire pressure usually drops in the colder months, so keep them inflated adequately. Also, keep an eye on your fluid levels and battery strength. If your vehicle hesitates when you start it, a new battery might be a good idea.
2. Plan for the unexpected
Keep your car stocked with supplies, such as jumper cables, emergency lights, blankets, a first aid kit, water and snacks. A fully stocked emergency kit may increase your chances of staying comfortable and safe through a winter weather emergency.
3. Take your time
Give yourself enough time to get where you need to be without rushing. Driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions can increase your control of the vehicle and allow you more reaction time to prevent collisions.
4. Secure precious cargo
Everyone in your vehicle should wear a seatbelt. You and your passengers, especially children in car seats, should also avoid wearing puffy coats. Bulky coats increase the space between the seat belt and the body, potentially decompressing in an accident and making the restraint less effective. Instead, opt for a thin jacket, a blanket or both.
5. Have patience
While it is tempting to hurry out the door as soon as the snow and sleet stop falling, you might want to wait until crews clear or deice the roads. A little patience might save you from a potentially devastating outcome.
Preparedness is your best asset for staying safe on Virginia’s roads this winter.