Winter is coming. You may be excited to start dusting off that sled, those skis or sharpen up those skates to get back on the ice. These activities are so fun to do, but getting there is the stressful part. Driving in the winter can be very dangerous compared to other times of the year because snow and ice can seriously affect the control of our cars. To get ready to drive in winter conditions this year, freshen up on the best ways to stay safe on the roads.

Check the Road and Weather Conditions Before You Go

Fire up your weather app to see what the immediate forecast has in store for you. Also get directions to your destination on google maps. It will tell you how the traffic is flowing and the estimated time it will take you to get there. This will also help you plan your route ahead of time. If you see one road that is backed up with traffic or if there was an accident, check for alternate routes that may be safer to drive on.

Leave a Lot of Room in Front of Your Car

You should never tailgate regardless of the weather, but you should definitely never do it when it’s snowing. Braking on ice and snow will take a lot longer to stop, and you may skid out of control if you are going too fast. When driving in traffic, leave about four seconds of space between you and the car in front of you. This will keep you and your other drivers safe if there is a need to brake quickly.

Be Patient

Everybody on the road has to be somewhere, but they also want to get there safe. If somebody is driving slower than the pace of traffic and you are behind them, don’t lose your cool and cut out into the other lanes. If you hit a patch of ice you could go swirling out of control, causing even more delays. Take your time when trying to pass somebody on the highway. Check your blind spot and merge safely into the next lane. Don’t speed up either to pass the other drive, slowly accelerate until you are at a safe speed to pass and merge safely back into that lane.

Being patient also means leaving extra early to get to your destination on time. You will more than likely hit a few delays on your route, so leave early to give you extra time when you do start to slow down.

Have an Emergency Plan

In a worse case scenario, you may find yourself stranded or stuck in the snow. Don’t panic, stay in your vehicle and call for help from roadside assistance, or if you are in danger, call 911 .
Stay safe on the roads this winter, be respectful to your fellow drivers and take your time. Keep your eyes on the road and be prepared to have longer trips.

All credit goes to Car R Us