Safe Winter Driving Tips for Commuters
Be prepared, take precautions and you'll have no problems this winter.
Mother Nature has thrown a variety of different winter conditions at us this year, including warm/cold temperatures, snow, rain, and a wintry mix. She’s done a good job of mixing it up. Just when we think we’re in for the deep freeze, a few days go by and the temperatures go back above freezing.
At the right you’ll see our top 5 Tips for Winter Driving, all good ones. But there even more ways to keep you and your family safe when driving around the snowy streets of Milwaukee this winter season. Here is the complete list:
- Be aware of changing weather conditions. If you don’t absolutely have to go out in a snowstorm, don’t. But 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.
- Keep a safe following distance. West Bend experts recommend keeping a safe following distance of eight to ten seconds to give yourself enough time to react to a possible situation.
- 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.
- 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 they should begin to slow down.
- Stand up your wipers. If a winter storm is scheduled to start after you get to work, raise your windshield wipers off the glass. This will prevent them from being frozen to the windshield plus it makes snow removal much easier.
- Always be cautious of pedestrians. Drivers and pedestrians alike share the responsibility of keeping themselves and others safe on the road. But when you are operating a vehicle, you have accepted a heightened responsibility for other people on the road. Winter months mean less daylight, so keep your eyes open for bundled pedestrians trekking in the snow.
- Prepare a car kit for winter conditions, including the following items found around your home or apartment:
- Basic tools – for winter car care, including jumper cables, flashlight and a blanket.
- Kitty Litter – yes, that’s right. 20 or 40 pounds of kitty litter stored in your trunk can serve several purposes. If placed over rear wheels, it can enhance traction. Also, if you deviated from the roadway and are now stuck, pour some of it out under your tires to help get traction.
- Shaving cream – applied to windows and wiped immediately, this can alleviate fog build up on the inside of your glass.
- Hand sanitizer – the alcohol in this product can melt ice on door locks.
Other winter tips from our Cares Blog:
- Eight winter safety tips to protect seniors from injury
- Avoid Dangers of Black Ice
- Keep your car rolling this winter
- Burned out with shoveling snow?
With these tips, you are keeping safety in mind during your daily commutes this winter season. And if you’re looking to practice your winter driving skills, West Bend Mutual Insurance partners with Road America and encourages clients to take their winter driving courses regardless of how long you’ve been driving. Sign up here for Road America winter driving classes!
For more tips on winter safety, visit thesilverlining.com to obtain more information or be connected with an agent.