Ontivity Resources

Safe Driving in Winter Months

New Braunfels, TX, November 30, 2022

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While many of us have different job responsibilities and assigned tasks, there is one thing we all share –the road! Even though we should always practice safe driving practices, regardless of the season, driving safely in winter weather can be a bit more challenging. Even for the most experienced driver. Driving in snow, sleet, or ice requires heightened focus and patience. It’s easy to forget after months of mild conditions that snow and ice demand careful driving and special preparation for your vehicle. But when 17 percent of all vehicle crashes occur during winter, it’s clear that we all need to take this subject seriously and give it the added attention it needs.

Today we will cover three key points that will help us all get to and from work safely during the winter months. Those key points are:

  1. Plan for the unexpected
  2. Complete a thorough pre-trip inspection
  3. Take it slow
  1. Plan for the unexpected

Driving safely begins before you even get on the road. A bad weather accident can happen whether you’re on a two-hour drive or a short hop to a dentist appointment. Therefore, we should always be prepared for the unexpected. Allowing ourselves extra time to complete our drive, keeping an eye out on the weather forecasts, and planning our route to include an alternate route are all crucial. If you live in a rural or mountainous area where you could become stranded, ensure your vehicle is properly equipped with the necessary survival gear. Once again, plan for the unexpected.

  1. Complete a thorough pre-trip inspection

Pre-trip inspections are always important, but if there is one time you don’t want to go thru the motions, it’s during the winter. The last thing you want to have to happen is finding issues with critical parts of your vehicle in the middle of an ice or snowstorm. During your pre-inspection, walk around and take time to clear your car of snow, ice or dirt from the windows, forward sensors, headlights, taillights, and backup camera. Critical equipment can take a beating when the temperature drops. Pay special attention to your battery, cooling system, tires, windshield wipers, and reservoir. Failure to do so can result in a mechanical failure and or accident.

  1. Take it slow

Now that we have prepared ourselves and our vehicle to hit the road let’s talk about some safe driving tips. Failure to keep in the proper lane or running off the road” and “driving too fast for conditions” are the two of the most frequent poor driver behaviors, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Bad weather makes these behaviors exponentially more dangerous, so take additional precautions on the road. Drive slowly because accelerating, stopping, and turning take longer on snow-covered or icy roads. Leave more distance than usual between your vehicle and the one just ahead of you to give yourself at least 10 seconds to come to a complete stop. Be careful when driving over bridges and roadways that aren’t exposed to sunlight – they are often icy when other areas are not. If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an absolute emergency. Limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder.

Remember, you are your car’s best safety feature. Take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination. If you become stranded in an unfamiliar area, do not leave your car. Light flares in the front and behind the car, and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud, or objects. Winter driving takes extra preparation and alertness. Remember, we share the road, and some drivers don’t take safety as seriously as we do. Do your part and make sure you arrive alive!

We encourage anyone who has questions or feedback please contact us at safety@ontivity.com.
Stay Safe!

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