Top 10 Winter Driving Hazards

Almost a quarter of all car accidents can be attributed in some measure to the weather, and winter driving can be particularly treacherous.
Here are the top 10 winter driving hazards, and what you can do to stay safe.

1. Black Ice
This is the deadliest of all winter driving hazards, and the hardest to prepare for. Black ice is formed when water freezes on the surface of a dark asphalt, making it almost impossible to see by motorists. It is often found on bridges, under overpasses and wherever the roadway is lined with trees. If temperatures are close to freezing, slow down, don’t tailgate, and take your foot off the accelerator (don’t slam on the brakes) if you hit a patch of ice.

2. Poor Visibility
If you can’t see, you can’t drive. Clear all snow and ice off the windshield before your turn the key, and make sure your washer fluid is topped up.

3. Blizzard Conditions
If you’re caught on the road in a blizzard, pull over and wait it out. Better to be late than never to arrive.

4. Dead Batteries
Almost a quarter of all car accidents can be attributed in some measure to the weather, and winter driving can be particularly treacherous.
Here are the top 10 winter driving hazards, and what you can do to stay safe.
It is harder for the current to pass through your battery in colder temperatures, so make sure yours is in good shape before you set off.

5. Unpreparedness
Expect the worst and hope for the best. Carry an emergency kit which includes replacement fuses, flashlight, first aid equipment, blanket, gloves, hat and tools.

6. Leaving the Vehicle
If you are stranded in a storm, stay in your car. You are far more likely to suffer from exposure by walking to find help than you are from waiting for help to find you.

7. Speed
Just slow down. Always factor in additional time to reach your destination in winter, and adjust your speed for ice, snow and freeing rain. This is a winter driving hazard that is entirely within your control to manage.

8. Poor Traction
If you live in a cold climate, invest in winter tires. Nothing is more important when it comes to starting, stopping and staying on the road in wintery conditions.

9. Cruise Control
Using cruise control will decrease your ability to make sudden adjustments to road conditions and increase your risk of aquaplaning on wet surfaces. Don’t use it in winter.

10. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If your tailpipe is clogged with snow and ice, fumes can leak into the car and causes severe illness or death. Check your pipe, especially if you are parked for a considerable period or waiting out a storm in your car.

Being aware, prepared and conscientious should help you avoid these most common winter driving hazards and get you safely home.