Your winter driving skills will be put to the test more this year than in the past. Because of state budget cuts, highway crews will not be plowing roads as quickly or as often as they have in the past.
Most winter driving accidents are caused by motorists driving too fast for conditions during or shortly after winter storms. Most of these accidents could be prevented if motorists followed one simple rule:
- FIRST IS WORST - The first storm of the season, most motorists have forgotten their safe winter driving skills. They will drive to fast and try to stop too quickly. Go slow. Drive defensively.
- GO SLOW - Drive well below the posted speed limit. Posted limits are intended for summer months on dry pavement.
- PLAN A HEAD - Plan on trips taking more time. Leave earlier. Consider an alternate route. STAY HOME if conditions are too bad.
- USE YOUR HEAD, USE YOUR FEET - Never use cruise control on slippery roads.
- LIGHTEN UP - Turn on your headlights when precipitation starts to get heavy. To prevent glare, avoid using your high beams during a night storm.
- SNOW PLOWS - Snow plows frequently stop and back up. If you're bumper-to-bumper with the snow plow, you're probably in the driver's "blind zone" and you are an accident just waiting to happen. Give snow plows plenty of room to work - in every direction. Also, driving into the cloud of snow that a plow kicks up can instantly blind you - a total "white out". It can last for what seems like a lifetime. Go slow. Pass only with extreme caution, and never drive into a snow plow's cloud.
ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT