Winter Driving Safety Checklist
- Make sure your vehicle is visible: It can become unpleasant having to stand out in freezing temperatures to clean off a car; however, it's highly important that your vehicle is visible to other drivers. Clear all headlights and taillights, and focus on all the windows so that you also can see properly. Drivers should note that a vehicle's roof needs to be cleared as well to guard against chunks of snow flying off and potentially blinding nearby cars.
- Increase following distances: All vehicles need more distance to stop on snow-covered and icy surfaces compared to dry roads. Additionally, falling precipitation can significantly compromise visibility, and drivers will need far more time to react.
- Carefully scan road surfaces: Ice makes for some of the most dangerous driving conditions, and drivers should always remain on the lookout for slippery patches. Ice often forms in the shadows of trees, buildings and billboards. Ice also can form quickly on structures like bridges and overpasses.
- Stay behind plows: Plows are busy attempting to make roads passable for other vehicles, and the operator could miss you if you attempt to pass. Additionally, some plows are wider than an actual lane, creating a side-swipe risk to vehicles that try to pass.
- Consider staying off the roads: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends waiting to travel until the worst weather subsides if possible. Staying off the roads allows snow removal equipment to work more efficiently, and leads to more passable streets once you venture out later.
When weather conditions deteriorate, remember to take it slow – the posted speed limit could prove to be unsafe. For additional winter weather driving tips, check out GEICO's winter driving survival guide.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually.