Driving in inclement weather increases your risk of a crash. Many motorists who drive Kentucky’s roads in the winter must contend with hazards that are not present during warmer months. Even the safest, most experienced drivers soften struggle when faced with icy roadways, freezing temperatures and other winter driving hazards, with a large percentage of all car wrecks involving winter conditions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17% of all car wrecks take place when winter conditions, such as snow, rain or sleet, are present. Drivers may not be able to eliminate all risks associated with driving during the wintertime. However, there are several steps that may enhance roadway safety, even during the year’s darkest, coldest days. Motorists should consider taking the following actions to enhance safety on the road during winter.
Make sure all vehicles are winter-ready
Having proper tires is critical when it comes to driving in inclement weather. Tires must have adequate tread depth, and they also need to be properly inflated. Tires tend to lose air when temperatures drop, so motorists may need to inflate them more often during cold months to make sure they remain safe for use. All vehicles must have adequate coolant and windshield wiper fluid levels, too.
Plan for emergencies
Winter drivers also run the risk of encountering conditions so hazardous they close roads or prevent motorists from moving at all. Cars and trucks used during the winter should have emergency supplies such as blankets, jumper cables and flares stocked inside in case something unanticipated occurs.
Clearing snow and ice from cars before using them is also essential. Doing so enhances safety for the person driving the car, and it also helps reduce hazards faced by others traveling nearby.