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Steps you can take to make your car safer in inclement weather

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Personal Injury

Bad weather can make relatively safe road trips treacherous. However, preparation can help you and your vehicle remain safer in inclement weather.

The following tips provide practical ways to prevent accidents or at least make the consequences less harmful.

Check your tires and keep them in good condition

Your tires are the only point of contact between your car and the road. Their condition makes a significant difference in how well you can maneuver around slick roads.

Make sure your tires have sufficient tread depth to grip the road surface. You might also consider switching to winter tires for better traction in cold weather.

Additionally, maintain proper tire pressure. Properly inflated tires ensure optimal performance and handling, particularly in adverse weather conditions. Check your tire pressure weekly at a minimum, as the weather can cause tire pressure to drop. Fortunately, many modern vehicles have tire pressure monitoring systems to alert you to low pressure.

Ensure you have proper visibility

Clear visibility is also important for safe driving. Replace worn-out windshield wipers, and ensure you continually top off your windshield washer fluid.

If snow or ice has accumulated on your windows, take sufficient time to clear it off before heading on a trip. Additionally, check that all lights are working correctly, including headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals.

Drive more cautiously

You should also reduce your speed when driving in inclement weather. Slower speeds allow for better control and reaction time, reducing the risk of skidding or losing control of your vehicle. Stay calm and focused, and be gentle with your steering, braking and acceleration inputs.

Another tip is to leave extra space between your car and the vehicle in front of you. In slippery conditions, it takes longer to stop, so maintaining a safe following distance can help prevent rear-end collisions.

Plan your trips

Good preparation before every trip is another smart practice. Check weather forecasts before heading out, especially on long journeys. If conditions are severe, consider delaying your trip or taking an alternative route if possible.

Keep an emergency kit in your car with essential items such as a flashlight, blankets, water, nonperishable snacks and a first aid kit. Additionally, make sure to keep your cell phone charged in case you need to call for assistance.

You cannot eliminate the possibility of an accident, but with preparation and care, you can reduce the odds of having a life-threatening crash when the weather is bad.