Michigan gets lots of snow and ice every winter, and with snowfall comes danger. Not all drivers have good winter driving skills, and as a new driver, you may be concerned about the risk of driving in these conditions. Here are a few tips for how you can avoid a winter crash by preparing for your drive.
Slow down, don’t rush
The first thing that people do wrong in the winter is driving at normal speeds. When the roads are clear, this is fine, but when ice and snow are present, there’s a risk of sliding or skidding. For example, if you slam on your brakes, you’re more likely to skid on ice than if you slowed until you came to a gentle stop.
Follow behind traffic at a safe distance
When you’re approaching traffic in the summer, keeping three to four seconds of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you is enough. However, that’s not the case in the winter. Extend that time to eight or 10 seconds to make sure you have plenty of time to slow down. If someone is getting too close to your vehicle’s rear, consider moving over to let them pass. If you must stop quickly, someone following too closely may not have enough time to stop before hitting you.
Heat up your vehicle before heading out
Make sure your windows are clear and that you have defrosted your mirrors before you head out into the snow. If you can’t see out of a mirror or window, don’t drive. Look out each window to be positive that no ice or snow blocks your vision. Remove snow from the top of the vehicle as well, since it falls off when you drive, potentially blocking your vision.
These are just a few tips to help keep you safe this winter. If you’re hit by someone who isn’t paying attention or who is disregarding the weather, then you can file a claim for compensation from that at-fault driver’s auto insurance company.