Prepare for Winter Driving Hazards

winter driving hazards

Approximately 23% of all car accidents are weather-related. And, it’s no wonder, that the winter season is considered the most dangerous driving season. In the Kansas City area, we see a variety of winter driving hazards ranging from snow to freezing rain, slush, black ice and freezing temps.

We want you to be safe when on the road, so here are some tips to help you prepare for the cold and those Missouri winter driving hazards.

Driving Tips for Winter Driving Hazards

  • Control your speed and adjust to the road conditions — wet, icy, snow-covered.
  • Don’t drive too close to the car in front of you in case of unexpected stops. Rule of thumb is to leave at least three times more distance than normal to stop.
  • Take hills slowly so you’re prepared for what’s on the other side.
  • Don’t use the cruise control, this can make it harder to react in time.
  • If you start to spin, turn the wheel in the direction of the spin. If you start to skid, turn your wheel in the direction you want the car to go.
  • Keep your cell phone handy in case of an emergency; however, don’t text, email or make calls while driving.
  • Drive with your lights on to help others see you.
  • Don’t pass the snow plows.
  • Always give yourself extra time.

Prepare your car for Cold Weather

  • Maintain good visibility. Keep the windshield and windows clear.
  • Check to make sure your defroster, heater, brakes and lights are in working order.
  • Ensure wiper blades are working properly, replace if necessary. Keep washer fluid filled.
  • Check tire tread and pressure to ensure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Test your battery and invest in a good set of jumper cables. If your car’s battery is three years or older it may be time to buy a new one.
  • Check your antifreeze levels and mix.
  • Keep a full tank of gas, this prevents your car’s gas line from freezing

winter driving hazards dangerous driving season winter season snow freezing rain black ice freezing tempsBe prepared with emergency supplies and equipment.

  • First aid kit
  • Lantern, flashlight and other reflective items
  • Jumper cables
  • Air compressor
  • Extra gloves, hats, and blankets
  • Shovel and bag of sand, salt or cat litter

Missouri weather can change quickly. Be sure to prepare for winter driving hazards of snow, freezing rain, slush, black ice and freezing temps.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published January 8, 2016. It was reviewed on January 13, 2023 and updated for content and accuracy.

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