3 ways to be a safer driver in winter weather

Winter weather comes with additional hazards on the road.

Snow, ice, and extreme cold cause challenges that every driver should prepare for. A few simple precautions can go a long way towards preventing costly and painful injury accidents.

1. Clear off your vehicle

Take the time to remove snow and ice from all windows and lights. People often forget to clear off the lights. Clear windows allow you to see other vehicles and hazards. Clear lights help other vehicles to see you in reduced visibility. When snow is falling, take every opportunity to make sure your car is visible to others on the road. Clear excess snow from the hood to keep it from blowing up onto your windshield as you drive.

2. Practice regular maintenance

Keep up with all regularly scheduled maintenance. Have your battery, brakes, tire tread and tire pressure tested before harsh weather occurs. Take all preventative measures to keep your car from breaking down in extreme weather conditions.

3. Drive defensively

Slick roads are unpredictable and often hard to see. Leave more space between vehicles to give yourself more time to react if you hit a patch of ice. Give yourself more time to reach every destination to avoid speeding. Instead of slamming on brakes, use firm, steady pressure on brakes to prevent your car from sliding. If visibility becomes so impaired that it is difficult to see, pull off the road as soon as it is safe to do so.

Drivers have a responsibility to themselves, their passengers and every other vehicle on the road to drive as safely as possible. Be a responsible driver by preparing for extreme weather conditions and using extra caution on the roads when conditions are poor.