In the Topeka and Wichita regions of Kansas, dangerous road conditions arrived earlier than expected in 2019. According to a report by KVOE, a popular news radio station based in Emporia, paramedics from the local fire department responded to two injury accidents in late October, and slick surface conditions played a part in both crashes. The chief of the fire department urged drivers to pay closer attention to reports of icy bridges, intersections, and residential streets, particularly between midnight and dawn.
When temperatures drop and precipitation turns into sleet and snow, you know that the time has come to adjust to winter driving conditions. This is a good time to follow your favorite car-related blog because it will likely provide valuable information about road conditions as well as actionable advice you can follow to stay safe. A good idea is to bookmark the website on your smartphone and register for mobile notifications and alerts if provided.
With the above in mind, here are some winter driving tips for this season:
Check Your Tires
Of all the potential dangers you may face on winter roads, slick surfaces are among the most likely to cause accidents, and this is when you should remember that your tires are the only parts of your car that make contact with the road. Tires are often marketed as all-season and all-weather; the latter are always preferable, but winter tires are the best if you expect to drive on snow and ice. Needless to say, the condition of the tread will determine how much traction you will get, and don’t forget to check tire pressure because it tends to drop along with the temperature.
Plan for High Visibility
Being seen and being able to see are crucial during the winter. Cars painted white are problematic during daytime snow storms, and the same goes for black cars after the sun goes down; the best way to counter these color schemes is to ensure that other drivers can see your lights, so be sure to check their functionality before getting on the road.
Prepare a Kit for Worst-Case Scenarios
Getting stranded is an unfortunate situation that can happen anytime, but it is always exacerbated during winter. An emergency kit for this season should include special items such as gloves, an emergency blanket, and a hat to keep you warm. Don’t forget to include bottled water, packaged snack bars, prescription medication, some cash, a flashlight, an extra battery or charger for your smartphone, signaling devices, and a list of emergency phone numbers written on paper.
Forget about setting cruise control during a snowstorm; you need to be in full control of the car unless it is equipped with an advanced driver-assist package. When driving up a snowy incline, try to abstain from accelerating; when driving down a hill, try not to stop. Become aware of your hands on the steering wheel and your feet on the pedals. Driving should be a deliberate and focused action during the winter.