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Are you prepared to drive in winter weather?

Winter has returned to Ohio. Are you and your vehicle ready for it? If you are like other Ohio residents, when winter weather ends, you tend to put it out of your mind. You enjoy the warmer weather, dry roads and longer days. By the time winter rolls around again, you have to remind yourself how to drive in adverse conditions.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just stay home every time the weather gets bad? Sure, it would, but your life probably doesn't allow you to, so you need to be prepared. Even if you keep an eye on the weather, the odds are that at some point this winter, you will be driving in less than ideal conditions.

Preparation is key

Knowing that you can't always avoid driving when the weather turns ugly, you may want to make preparations that could make driving safer. Some of those preparations could include the following:

  • Make sure you inflate your tires properly. The more grip you have on the road, the better the chances are that you won't slide.
  • Make sure your car is ready for winter. Change the oil, top off the fluids and keep your gas tank full.
  • Make sure you and any passengers in your vehicle always wear seat belts.
  • Put an emergency kit in your vehicle just in case you get stuck.
  • Keep up to date on the weather so you can plan to take more time or to take a different route if necessary.

Preparation is only part of the equation when it comes to remaining safe in winter weather. How you drive makes an impact as well.

Prepare to adjust your driving habits

When the weather is bad, you will need to adjust the way you drive in order to enhance your safety and the safety of those around you by doing the following:

  • Remember not to speed up or slow down too quickly.
  • Drive slower when the weather makes road conditions dangerous.
  • Remember to double the amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you to give yourself more time to react if something happens.
  • Distracted driving is always dangerous, but when the roads are slick, snowy or icy, it becomes even more so.
  • Pay attention to the road, other vehicles and potential obstacles to give yourself as much time as possible to react if you need to do so.
  • Avoid using cruise control because it takes away a certain amount of control from you that you need in inclement weather.

You may take these tips to heart to increase your safety during the winter, but you still have to share the roads with drivers who aren't as diligent as you are. One of those drivers lose control of his or her vehicle. If that happens, you may not be able to avoid a collision. Thereafter, you may pursue compensation for the financial losses you incurred, and may continue to incur, as a result.

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