Connecticut gets plenty of snow, so it is important for those who often drive in the state to prepare themselves for winter weather. Slippery roads result in more than 6,000 accident fatalities annually according to data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
These tips will help you take the wheel with confidence if you have to travel when the forecast indicates snow.
Change your plans
When you do not absolutely have to drive in the snow, opt to stay home. When the roads are no longer safe, the state Department of Transportation will declare a travel advisory. If this occurs, you should remain off the roads so plows can do their jobs effectively and clear the way.
Consider snow tires
When your tires do not have enough grip, you have a much greater risk of losing control of your vehicle on slick surfaces. Snow tires enhance your traction, although you still need to drive safely and slowly on slippery roads. If you opt to keep your all-season tires, make sure they have plenty of tread and check the tire pressure regularly.
Think smooth and steady
Starting and stopping quickly can result in skids on snowy roads. Travel below the speed limit and avoid stopping unless you must. Accelerate and decelerate as slowly as possible to maintain control of your car.
Pack an emergency kit
If you become stranded on the road during a major storm, you may have to wait for hours until the roads are passable. Before temperatures drop, outfit your trunk with:
- An extra cellphone, charger and battery
- Flares and jumper cables
- Blankets and warm clothing
- Sand or kitty litter to help your tires get out of a slick area
- A flashlight
- A snow shovel
- Energy bars and filled water bottles
Winter weather driving can be dangerous, but good safety practices reduce the likelihood of a collision. Use these tips to protect yourself and other travelers.