Safe Winter Driving Tips

Topics: Agent Tips

Summary: Traveling during the winter months can be challenging due to adverse weather conditions. Drivers need to prepare now for winter weather. Learn winter driving safety tips to help you stay safe while on the road. 

Safety Tips for Winter Driving

A large portion of the country is already dealing with winter weather like blizzards and ice storms impacting their travel plans. Between the adverse conditions and fewer hours of daylight, driving in the winter can be a challenge for even the most experienced drivers.

The Federal Highway Administration reports that nearly 70% of the nation lives in regions where more than five inches of snow falls annually. Additionally, icy conditions or snowy and slushy pavement causes 24% of all weather-related vehicle crashes, with 15% occurring during an event like snowfall or sleet.

Whether you’re heading out to see clients or planning a long-distance road trip to visit family this time of year, it’s important to take some extra precautions to ensure you get to all your destinations as safely as possible.

How to Prepare for Winter Driving - Tips to Keep You Safe

winter driving tips

Many industries, such as floral shops and restaurants rely on drivers to deliver their goods. And, according to the 2022 AmTrust Restaurant Risk Report, motor vehicle-related injuries cost restaurants the most on average with nearly $20,000 paid out per claim - 1,215% higher than injuries due to cuts, punctures and scrapes from knives or other sharp kitchen objects. The report also states the motor vehicle losses are higher in the fourth quarter of the year, most likely due to hazardous winter driving weather. 

Company drivers must follow safe driving practices normally, but they must be extra cautious in snowy or icy weather. When heavy snow causes low visibility and icy roads, understanding how to properly handle your vehicle is key to keeping yourself and others safe while on the road.

Keep these winter driving tips in mind when driving in wintery weather:  

Watch the Weather Forecast

Throughout the season, meteorologists stay on top of winter storm warnings and make sure to share when inclement weather is on the way. When you have plans to drive, tune into your local news station or check out a weather application on your smartphone. This way you can better prepare yourself or reschedule meetings if it looks like you might be heading into a snowstorm.

Plan Ahead for Driving in the Snow

If there’s no avoiding going out into less than ideal driving conditions, map out your route so you know you’re taking the safest roads possible. Additionally, allow yourself ample time to get to your destination. Leave earlier than normal to ensure you don't arrive late for an important meeting.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Travel

If your car sits outside in the elements, make sure to brush off all the snow and scrape the ice from all the windows. If you don’t have snow tires installed, keep your current tires inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications and inspect them for low tread, bulges and other normal wear and tear. Keep your gas tank at least half-full, refill the windshield wiper fluid regularly, and perform other routine maintenance as needed, like oil changes and tire rotations, to ensure your vehicle is in top condition.

Take Your Time on Icy Roads

Driver safety is often compromised simply because individuals are too hasty when they get behind the wheel. Remember, icy conditions mean you need to take it slow at all times. Don’t rush to accelerate when the light turns green, as your tires are likely to spin and you could slide into another car or the curb.

Never Drive Impaired

It goes without saying that one of the basics of safe driving is always to drive sober. If you are heading to an event where you know you’ll be enjoying a few drinks, make sure to designate a sober driver, or enlist a taxi or rideshare service.

Pay Attention to Other Drivers

You might be confident in your winter driving skills, but remember that other drivers you're sharing the road with could be slightly less sure of themselves. No matter how many safety precautions you take, you can’t be responsible for the actions of others. Always be alert when you’re driving in winter weather and take note of the vehicles around you, keeping a safe distance away at all times.

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AmTrust Offers Winter Preparedness Resources

AmTrust Financial is a leader in small business insurance solutions. Our Loss Control team offers a variety of small business winter preparedness and vehicle safety resources. Contact us today to learn more. 

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.

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