It has been a beautiful, up-and-down, typical St. Louis area autumn around here. But we know that winter is on the way! In fact, forecasters have predicted that temperatures will drop drastically this week and that we may even see some winter precipitation. Now, before you rush out to buy bread and milk, let’s review a few winter driving tips.
Proper Preparation: In a recent blog, we discussed preparing your car for winter. A quick double check of your tires, lights, wiper blades, and battery is a good idea. Make certain your cell phone is charged, gas tank is more than half full, and your emergency kit is stocked, including extra weight for those light pickup trucks and something for traction (such as kitty litter). Our very own Scott Schaefer recently appeared on News Channel 5, and shared a detailed list of what you need to have on hand, as well as some additional driving tips.
Pay Attention: Almost every blog contains a warning against distracted driving. However, have you ever noticed how many drivers out there are on the phone, texting, or doing other things that take focus from the road? So, let us again say, giving the task at hand (driving) your full attention is vital, especially when winter weather is part of the equation.
Slow Down: Winter precipitation alters your ability to control the vehicle and to stop. So, slow down and give yourself plenty of extra room between you and the other drivers.
Be aware that some dangers are unseen. Make sure that you remember to turn on your lights whenever your wipers are on, but don’t assume that other drivers will do the same. Watch carefully for stalled or stopped vehicles. Also watch for “black ice,” which describes a virtually invisible glaze of ice. It is most likely to form on bridges and overpasses, especially at night when the temperature drops and refreezing occurs. If you hit an icy patch, let off the gas pedal and gently steer through it., looking to find traction. Sudden braking and rapid movements can cause you to lose control.
In the event of an accident, remain calm and get off the road as quickly as possible if it is safe to do so. However, do remain with your car, as it provides shelter and safety. Call emergency responders, and then call Schaefer Autobody at 636-305-8288 and we can Make It Like It Never Happened.