Whether it’s snow, sleet or ice, winter weather can cause extremely dangerous road conditions. The latest data available indicates that in 2020, there were 374 fatal crashes, and an estimated 25,000 injury crashes that occurred in wintry conditions. Preparing yourself – and your vehicle – for winter weather is key.
When it comes to winter weather driving, the basics are key. First and foremost, slow down. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. In fact, in 2020, there were an estimated 119,000 police-reported crashes that occurred in wintry conditions. On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.
Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside the truck. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay far enough behind it and use caution if you pass the plow.
What to Do in an Emergency
If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, stay focused on yourself and your passengers, your car, and your surroundings.
Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself.
Let your car be seen. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light on.
Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any snow and run your car only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm. Don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.
For additional information and safety tips, visit www.nhtsa.gov