Did you know that more than 70% of the roads in the U.S. receive five inches or more of snow and ice each year? In fact, snowy, slushy or icy conditions cause 1,300 deaths and 116,800 injuries every year. Nearly 19,000 accidents occur during the winter in Wisconsin.
Driving in winter conditions can be stressful and dangerous. These are a few ways you can avoid getting into rear-end collisions this winter.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Winter safety requires extra vigilance. When you are driving, you should reduce or eliminate distractions. Frequently check your mirrors and scan the road ahead. Change lanes, move onto the shoulder or turn to avoid debris in the road so you do not have to brake quickly. Avoid driving for long periods in other vehicles’ blind spots.
Increase space between vehicles
You should increase the space between you and other vehicles when you drive in winter weather. Slippery roads can increase the time your vehicle needs to stop and can cause you to slide into other drivers. Therefore, increase the space between you and other drivers. You should also increase the space between your vehicle and parked or stopped vehicles.
Falling snow, rain and sleet can also reduce your visibility. Your headlights can also reduce your ability to see when you drive at night during snow storms.
Keep other drivers informed
You need to give other drivers notice about what you are doing or will do soon. Therefore, switch your turn signals on early when you plan to turn or change lanes. Also, start stopping well before a stop sign, traffic light or turn.
One of the best defenses against rear-end collisions is a well-maintained, prepared vehicle. Therefore, check your antifreeze, wiper blades, battery and washer fluid. Then, check the road conditions before going out in the weather.