How To Stay Safe On The Road This Winter

How To Stay Safe On The Road This Winter

For some students, driving is second-nature and they don’t think about much when they’re behind the wheel apart from getting to their destination. But when you’re on a solo trip or going for a long drive in winter, it’s important to take certain safety measures to ensure that you don’t get injured while you’re on the road. According to statistics, road crashes accounted for 35% of all deaths among 15 to 19-year-olds and 30% of deaths among those ages 20 to 24 in Canada. Learning to drive safely, being well prepared, and anticipating certain scenarios can mean the difference between life and death when you’re on the road this winter. Here are few things to do to make winter driving safer.

Check the weather report

Forecasters predict a colder winter in 2018, and as La Niña is expected to make temperatures drop even more, it’s important to check the weather report before leaving campus or your home. This is especially recommended if you’re going on a road trip or if you’re driving in isolated areas. To stay safe while driving in the snow, let your friend, roommate, or family member know your route, destination and expected time of arrival so that he or she can call for help in case you get stuck or delayed. If you do get snow-bound, the best thing to do is to stay inside your car. Your vehicle can shield you from the elements and makes it easier for people to rescue you.

Be prepared

If you’re going on a road trip, you’ll need more items apart from snacks and good music to arrive safely at your destination. First, prepare your car for the long drive by making sure to fill up the gas tank and checking the fluids. You should also check to see if your tires are in good shape and are properly inflated. Next, pack a first aid kit, a mobile phone, warm clothing, a blanket, food, water, a flashlight, toolkit, and your medication. The night before your long drive, make sure to get the proper amount of sleep to reduce driving risks and stay alert while you’re on the road.

Don’t get distracted

It’s important to stay focused when you’re on the road. One of the best ways to concentrate on your driving is to keep your smartphone out of reach. Many road accidents are the cause of texting and driving, so it might be a good idea to keep your phone inside the glove compartment for the duration of your trip. To minimize distractions, let your loved ones know before your long drive that you won’t be answering their texts while you’re driving and that you’ll be the one to text or call them up at a pit stop or if the situation calls for it.

Practice safe driving

When you’re driving in the snow, it’s better to do everything slowly, and that includes accelerating, decelerating, and turning. Doing so lessens the risk of skidding or hitting other cars on the road. Put more distance between your car and the car in front of you as well to stay safe. Give yourself lots of time to get to wherever you’re heading by leaving the campus or your home early—this way, you won’t be rushing to get to your destination and you avoid getting stressed or anxious while you’re driving.

Keep in mind that the choices you make before and while you’re on the road can affect how your long drive will turn out. Always be prepared and follow these tips to stay safe while driving this winter.

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Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career in IT and software but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she's not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after

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