Whether you drive occasionally or every day, driving brings about a set of responsibilities that people who rely on public transportation don't have--especially in the winter months of the year. Along with the cold weather in some areas will comes heavy bouts of snow and dangerous ice covering the roadways. A safe driver in the winter is a well-prepared driver and part of being prepared comes with knowledge. Here are four fast facts that every winter driver should know.
1. The weather can change drastically in a matter of minutes.
Snow is actually one of the hardest weather patterns to predict because there are so many variables involved in determining if the moisture present in the atmosphere will freeze before falling to the ground. Therefore, even if you watch the weather and your weatherman says that snow is not likely, you could find yourself a few miles down the road in the middle of a snowstorm. Keep close tabs on the weather all through the winter, even once you have left the house and are in your car.
2. You may have to wait for help to arrive in the winter.
During snow storm Thor in February of 2015, many Kentucky drivers found themselves stranded in their vehicles on I-65 for as long as 11 hours. Towing companies (such as Express Tow & Recovery) will always do all they can to help you out of a winter driving predicament, but in periods of inclement weather, it can mean you will have to wait a while in your car for help to arrive.
3. Having a winter driving emergency kit on hand could save your life.
Every driver should create a winter emergency kit to keep in their car. In the event of an emergency situation where you are stranded in the cold, this kit could be a lifesaver. In this kit you should keep items like:
- emergency blankets
- flashlights and extra batteries
- high-protein snacks
- hand warmers
- candles and a lighter
- bottled water
4. You should always allow yourself extra traveling time.
Allowing extra time to reach your travel destination in the winter will help to ensure you are not traveling at a higher rate of speed or in such a rush that you cannot give appropriate attention to the roadway conditions. If the roads are already covered in snow, it is a good idea to expect he trip you intend to take to be twice as long.