Bundle up Oregonians as our area will see some colder temperatures ahead, bringing with it predicted snow and ice. In the Northwest, we are pros at driving in wet rainy conditions but driving in snow and ice requires extra preparation and caution in manoeuvring to ensure everyones safety. Ideally staying home when the weather gets icy is a good idea but for those who must hit the road, here are five tips to help you navigate winter road conditions:
Prepare Your Vehicle:
Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready by checking the battery, brakes, tires, and fluid levels. Consider switching to winter tires, which provide better traction in cold conditions. Carry snow chains for your tires (and be familiar with how to use them) for extra precaution.
Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid fuel line freeze-ups, and carry an emergency kit that includes items like a blanket, flashlight, first aid supplies, and non-perishable snacks.
Drive Slowly and Smoothly:
Reduce your speed and allow for longer stopping distances. Snow and ice make roads slippery, and sudden movements can lead to loss of control.
Accelerate and decelerate gradually to avoid skidding. Use gentle pressure on the gas pedal and brake to maintain traction.
Increase Following Distance:
Leave more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This extra distance provides additional time to react and stop safely.
Avoid tailgating, and be mindful of the reduced visibility and stopping capabilities in snowy or icy conditions.
Use Caution on Hills and Inclines:
Approach hills with caution and avoid stopping on an incline whenever possible. If you must stop, start moving again slowly to prevent sliding.
Descend hills slowly and in a lower gear, using engine braking rather than relying solely on the brakes.
Know How to Handle Skids:
If your vehicle starts to skid, remain calm. Take your foot off the gas pedal and steer in the direction you want to go.
Avoid slamming on the brakes, as this can worsen the skid. Use gentle and controlled movements to regain control of the vehicle.
Remember, it’s crucial to stay informed about weather and road conditions before heading out. If conditions are extremely hazardous, consider delaying your trip or using alternative transportation.
Even in the best conditions accidents can happen but wintery weather can increase the chance of skidding and loss of control. Contact EPB&B Insurance to ensure your auto insurance has you covered for this winter. And please buckle up, your safety is important to us.