The coldest weather of the fall is set to arrive this week! Temperatures were in the 30s last night and snow is falling in the Cascades. Freezing fog and icy roads can lead to some pretty treacherous driving conditions; here are some tips to keep you safe out there!
When possible, simply don’t drive! If a trip can wait until later in the morning when the roads have warmed up, postpone the errand.
If you are unfamiliar with driving in snowy or icy conditions it is best to practice your skills in an open, space clear of other drivers and pedestrians; such as a vacant parking lot. Here, you can learn how brakes, steering and other functions perform differently when road conditions change.
Visibility is always crucial while driving. Make sure your wiper blades are functional and your wiper fluid is full. Use an ice scraper (not your blades) to clear your windshield before heading out on the road. Also clear your headlights of ice and snow and make sure they are on so that others can see you on the road.
Check your tires! Make sure you have on all weather or snow tires in the fall and winter months. Don’t wait for the snow and ice to come around first! Check the tread on the tires as well to access if they are too worn down for treacherous driving.
Know where to expect black ice. Black ice occurs most commonly in the morning, where traffic is light, in shady areas and on bridges. Should you hit black ice, do not quickly brake or swerve as this can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
Drive slower than you would normally and be aware of your surroundings. Other drivers may be inexperienced or reckless; be on alert for potential accidents. Leave adequate space between your vehicle and the driver in front of you to allow time to react.
Always check your route before you leave, especially if you are traveling more than a few miles. Conditions may change based upon elevation and temperature, be prepared for anything!
Stay safe out there!