Say It’s Ain’t Snow! 5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Snow is just part of life in the Midwest. And depending on where you live or visit in Michigan, you could easily face over 200 inches of the white stuff at any time during the three months of winter. More than 150,000 car crashes occur annually on icy roads accounting for over 1,800 deaths. Michigan is, of course, a high-risk state. Fortunately, there are some simple tips to help you avoid a Michigan car crash.

Know Your Vehicle

Read over your car’s manual to familiarize yourself with its winter features. Antilock brakes, 4-wheel drive, stability control, specialty tires, and engine heaters can really save the day in the harshest winter conditions. Also, be sure to plug in your vehicle at the right times if it’s electric or hybrid to keep from losing power when you need it the most.

Service Your Car Before Winter

Winter puts a lot of extra stress on a car and it’s important to ensure the vehicle up to the task. So be sure to service the vehicle before the snow starts. Check the battery and brakes, replace hoses and seals as necessary, top off all fluids, replace wipers, switch to snow tires, make sure your mats are winter-resistant, and get a tuneup just to play it safe.

Keep Your Car Stocked for an Emergency

Besides having your car services, AAA recommends all drivers prepare their vehicles with emergency kits for winter driving. These kits should include commonsense staples such as a snow shovel, ice scraper and brush, extra fluids–especially windshield wiper fluid, paper towels, a flashlight, sand and traction mats, drinking water, snacks, and extra clothes, outerwear, and blankets. Also keep a bag with necessary items like flares, jumper cables, a basic toolkit, first aid kit, and a mobile phone and charger preloaded with important numbers like a competent Michigan car accident attorney.

Plan Your Routes

In this day and age of technology-enhanced living, there’s no reason to leave your trip to chance. This is especially true in the winter or when driving a new or unfamiliar route. Even if you are pretty familiar with the route, roads and conditions can change on a dime. So back it up with apps and proper planning. Use your GPS, of course, but also incorporate weather apps and other free driving or map apps to bypass construction and traffic jams, avoid winter storms, and choose the best route to get to your destination safely and in one piece.

Avoid Risky or Dangerous Behavior

Speeding and losing your cool with other drivers in the winter is more likely to slow you down if not keep you from getting to your destination altogether. Distractions, including pets, passengers, eating and drinking, and of course cell phone use lead to thousands of deaths per year. Drinking and driving accounts for 29 fatalities daily or 10,000 annually, and approximately 391,000 injuries were a result of distracted driving in 2017 compared to just under 40,000 gun fatalities for the year. Playing it safe should help you avoid catastrophe. But if you still need a Michigan car accident attorney, we’re just a call away.