Residents of Massachusetts and Rhode Island should be no strangers to winter weather, but it doesn’t hurt to go over some winter driving tips to avoid car accidents and to share them with your teen driver or less experienced driver friends. Motor vehicle safety is especially important during these icy, snowy months. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the roads:
- Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
- Clear your entire vehicle of snow and ice. Snow left on the roof and hood can wind up on the windshield or rear window, obstructing your view.
- Bang off the snow from your shoes before you get into your vehicle to avoid slippery gas and brake pedals.
- Always use your seatbelt.
Driving In Snowy / Icy Conditions
- Remember that posted speed limits are meant for ideal conditions; adjust your speed when the roads are snowy/icy.
- Always avoid distracted driving.
- Try not to make sudden stops or direction changes, such as going across three lanes of traffic to make that last minute exit.
- Make sure to always leave enough space between you and the vehicles around you in case a sudden stop is necessary.
- Keep your headlights on when visibility is poor.
- Drive defensively. Do your best to anticipate what other drivers may do.
- Slow down while approaching intersections.
- Be ready for sudden icy patches on bridges and in shaded areas.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians who may not be able to use uncleared sidewalks.
- Do not drive during a snow storm, unless it is imperative.
Car Stuck In The Snow?
- Don’t spin your tires. This will only dig you in deeper and possibly damage your tires.
- Put the car in the lowest possible gear and try to back up slowly. Stop. Then move forward, slowly. Ideally, that rocking will help the car gain traction.
- If that fails, turn the steering wheel and again, try to back up slowly, then move ahead slowly.
- Still stuck? Safely get out of the car and try to dig out any excess snow around the tires. If you have sand, kitty litter or even an old piece of cardboard, put it under your tires before you try to pull out again.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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