According to the U.S. Road Weather Management Program, nearly 170,000 serious injuries and more than 1,300 fatalities occur each year because of ice, slush or snow on the road. Indiana motorists should be aware of safety measures that can reduce the risk of a collision in cold-weather conditions.
Review these strategies to prevent a debilitating auto accident injury this winter.
Plan your trip
Check the forecast before you set out on the road. If you expect bad weather, try to delay your trip until the roads clear. Before heading off, fill your gas tank and pack extra clothes, food and water in your vehicle. Make sure your tires have enough tread and top off the car’s fluids. Tell someone where you will be and your estimated time of arrival.
Remember that the speed limit refers to ideal conditions. Reduce your speed significantly to account for slippery roads. When you need to accelerate or slow down, do so gently and carefully. Make sure to leave at least six seconds of following distance from other vehicles in case another driver stops suddenly.
Take care on hills
If you stop when driving up a hill, you run the risk of sliding back down. Keep your momentum up until you reach the top. However, do not give the car more gas than you need, which can cause the wheels to spin.
Remember these strategies when you need to drive to work or elsewhere and expect slick, snowy or wet road surfaces. Always avoid driving distractions and refrain from operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.