Winter driving can seem daunting to many people. I remember last year when it snowed in Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio right during rush hour. I even left my home an hour earlier to arrive at work on time. It didn’t happen. It seems like the entire Cincinnati Metro just shuts down when it snows.
I remember on that day and the following day of seeing numerous minor accidents, major accidents, and abandoned cars on Ronald Reagan/Cross County Highway.
Did you know?
Each year, 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on a snowy, slushy or icy pavement.
In hopes to help prevent the same results, I’m sharing 10 Valuable Winter Driving Tips You Need to Know! In collaboration with the American Heritage Insurance Group team, we think these winter driving tips will help Southwest Ohio drivers.
10 Valuable Winter Driving Tips You Need to Know
- Allow Longer Braking Distances – Since it is a common time for sliding, try to allow extra room between your car and the car in front of you. Even if you don’t think you will slide or slam on your brakes, you can never predict what will happen. It’s better to stay back versus hitting someone’s car or sliding into other cars.
- Check Your Exhaust Pipe – Before you start your vehicle to start defrosting, check your exhaust pipe. If ice and snow is blocking your exhaust pipe, carefully clear the area. A blocked exhaust pipe can feed deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak back into the car.
- Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly – Try to always apply the gas and brake slowly. By accelerating slowly you ensure better traction and allow for extra time to control your vehicle.
- Be Prepared to Correct a Slide – It’s best to understand how to regain control of your vehicle in case you start to slide. If the back end of your vehicle begins sliding, let off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide to help straighten your vehicle.
- Four-Wheel & All-Wheel Drive – Don’t think that by having these systems on your vehicles means you won’t be affected by the elements. These only provide extra traction when accelerating and make no impact when braking or turning.
- Keep Your Gas Tank Half Full – This gives you peace of mind in case you become stuck. It will also allow you to hopefully make it home safely without having to make a stop during inclement weather.
- Cruise Control – Do not use cruise control when there is a possibility that you are driving on a slippery surface (wet, ice, sand, etc).
- Stay with Your Vehicle – If you’re snow-bound, don’t leave your vehicle. You could become lost in a winter storm if you leave your vehicle. If there is a chance of your car being covered by snow, try tying a piece of cloth to the antenna or highest point on your vehicle. Also, consider lighting road flares to mark where your vehicle is.
- Be Aware of Other Motorists: You can’t control how other drivers act on the road during snowstorms. To help you stay safe, leave extra distance, avoid distractions and be predictable by using signals.
- Stay Home: If you know that the weather is becoming unsafe, just stay home.
Do you have winter driving tips for your fellow Ohioans? Leave a comment below.
American Heritage Insurance Group is an independent property and casualty insurance agency offering personal lines insurance, commercial lines insurance for small and medium sized businesses, farm insurance, and several specialty lines. We have offices located in Cincinnati, Milford, and Springfield, Ohio.