driving in car in winter

Driving in Connecticut can be dangerous during the winter. Every year, snowy and icy roads lead to serious accidents across the state. Now is a good time to review some important safety tips.

Keep Your Distance

This is one of the most important winter driving tips. When roads are coated with snow or ice, it takes longer to slow down or come to a stop. That means you need to leave more distance than you ordinarily would between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

If a plow truck is on the road, give the driver plenty of space to maneuver while clearing snow. Don’t drive next to a plow truck. It may be difficult for the driver to see your vehicle in snowy conditions. Also, as a plow clears roads, snow goes flying. That snow can land on your windshield and greatly limit your visibility.

Reduce Your Speed

It’s hard for tires to get traction on snowy or icy roads. Black ice is another common concern in Connecticut. Snow or ice can melt during the day, then refreeze when the temperature falls in the late afternoon and evening. A road that just looks wet may actually be covered with ice.

Drive slower than usual in bad conditions to reduce the risk of sliding. Brake and accelerate gradually.

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive can give you better traction, but that doesn’t mean that you can drive at a normal speed in bad weather. You should still slow down.

Don’t use cruise control in wintry weather. You need to be able to monitor road conditions and react immediately if your vehicle begins to lose traction.

Other people may not drive at a safe speed in bad weather. Don’t drive faster than you know you should just because other people are impatient. Safety comes first.

Get Your Car Checked out and Ready for Winter

If you haven’t already had a winter vehicle inspection, schedule one soon. Have a mechanic check your car’s fluid levels, brakes, tire treads and pressure, wiper blades, and other critical components. Have any necessary repairs made now to stay safe before winter weather arrives.

Pack emergency supplies in your vehicle. Those should include an ice scraper, shovel, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, warm clothes, a blanket, nonperishable food and water, a cellphone and charger, a flashlight, a first aid kit, jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, and an air compressor.

Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage

The start of a new year is also a good time to check your insurance policies and make sure you have the right coverage and affordable premiums. A member of the team at Petruzelo Insurance can review your current car insurance policy, discuss whether you should make changes, and help you compare premiums from several carriers to get the best rates available. Contact us today to learn more.