Since you might be dreading the shorter days and cooler weather that’s already setting in, you should be sure to enjoy the last glimpses of warmth that fall has to offer. But, at the same time, you should be mindful of the unique driving hazards that exist this time of year.
Nighttime and winter driving can reduce your visibility. And the snow and ice that coats Connecticut streets each winter can create even more dangerous conditions. Thankfully, there are driving and maintenance tips that can help prevent accidents during the cold months ahead.
Fighting challenges of nighttime driving
You might take night drives year-round, but now is a good time as any to review the risks of driving after the sun sets and make changes to increase your safety. According to Texas A&M Transportation Institute, there are several ways that the night’s dark sky can limit one’s visibility. Less light creates a smaller field of vision, bright lights from oncoming traffic can be blinding and some rural roads often lack good lighting. To combat these challenges, make sure your headlights are on and cleaned off, keep your windows clean, stay on well-lit roads whenever possible and try not to stare into the lights of the cars you pass.
Imperfect visibility makes it harder to gauge how far ahead the car in front of you is going. So, increasing the distance between you and other cars may protect you from a collision. Plus, distancing yourself from fellow drivers can help you steer clear from drowsy or drunk drivers that tend to spend time on the road at night.
Getting your car and mindset winter-ready
In the upcoming winter months, your visibility can also suffer during the day when fog, snow or sleet is present. You can prepare for snow by always keeping a brush and backup windshield washer fluid in your car.
With the expected slipperiness of snow and unexpected ice patches, it’s essential to manage your speed or stay off the roads during inclement weather. As an added layer of protection, you can invest in winter tires that have better traction. Despite taking precautions, many drivers slide and hit other cars and slip into ditches due to sleek conditions year after year. For this reason and in the event of a sudden breakdown, keeping a shovel, extra clothing and a blanket in your vehicle is also a good idea.
If at any point you feel like a road is too dark or too slippery, you should try to pull over safely rather than proceeding with your route. Preserving your life is more important than arriving to your destination on time.