Minnesota winters can be a dangerous time to drive. Cold weather can affect how your vehicle performs, and precipitation can make the roads slick and unsafe.
There are many little steps that you can take to improve your personal safety on the road, ranging from careful vehicle maintenance to an investment in snow tires. However, there is a simple safety tip that, when integrated into your daily routine, could help you reduce your risk of getting into a crash this winter.
What safety rule could help you avoid a weather-related winter wreck?
Start your morning a little bit earlier once the temperatures drop
Although meteorologists may pride themselves on accuracy and do their best to deliver accurate forecasts, they can predict snow overnight on days when the weather turns out to be clear or fail to predict a storm that blows up out of seemingly nowhere. While watching the news in the evening can help you prepare for the weather the next day, there is never a guarantee of forewarning about snowstorms that will affect your daily commute.
Getting up between 10 and 30 minutes earlier, depending on the length of your commute, can help you stay safer. You will have the opportunity to leave earlier if necessary to make up for lost time as you drive more slowly on those dangerous winter roads. Giving yourself the flexibility to adjust your driving habits for weather conditions could potentially help you avoid causing a collision.
Trying to drive like you would win the roads are clear won’t seem like an issue until you need to maneuver or stop, and then you could lose control of your vehicle. Being able to slow down because you got up a little bit earlier can help you stay calm and in control of your vehicle even in terrible weather.
What should you do after a winter wreck?
The worse the weather is, the more likely you are to experience a delay in having police officers respond to a crash. Keeping winter gear in your vehicle so that you can stay warm regardless of your clothing helps. You may also need to familiarize yourself with how to document a crash in case police officers cannot respond and ask you to file a report later because they have to prioritize collisions with injuries or completely immobilized vehicles.
Having a plan already in place if you get into a car crash in the winter months can keep you safer and more comfortable in that stressful situation.