It is an unfortunate fact that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.. While this fact might be startling, teenage drivers and their parents should realize that these accidents are preventable in a vast majority of situations. Read ahead for a look at some winter driving tips that teens and all other drivers should take to heart.
Get the Car Serviced Early
Drivers should never wait until the first storm hits before they carry out some fall and winter maintenance. Much like summer maintenance, this begins with an inspection of the tires, brakes, lights, belts, and fluids. Many auto shops offer winter specials when the weather begins to cool off if you are uncomfortable doing this maintenance yourself.
Use Controls Smoothly
When you are driving on ice and snow, you might only have 10 percent of the traction as a dry tarmac. This means that you can only operate your vehicle within 10 percent of its normal capabilities. Accelerating, turning, and braking should all be carried out as cautiously as possible in order to avoid skidding and sliding. Drivers should also focus on carrying out just one of these maneuvers at a time when possible.
Don’t Underestimate the Weather
Many young drivers will head off on a road trip because they underestimate just how much the weather will affect them. No trip is worth the potential dangers of a car accident that results in property damage and injuries. Drivers should take a few minutes to check on the current weather and the weather forecast in the coming hours. If the conditions seem especially bad, the trip might need to be postponed.
Anticipate the Traffic
Instead of just looking at the car directly in front of your own vehicle, you should be glancing as far down the road as possible in order to anticipate major changes in the flow of traffic. Many younger drivers become fixated on specific objects such as the car in front of them instead of viewing the traffic as a larger body. This gives them less time to react to changes such as a pileup on the freeway or a car that has broken down just up the road. According to the Portland personal injury attorneys at the Johnston Law Firm, situational awareness is the key to preventing many accidents.
In addition to these winter driving tips, teenage drivers and their parents should also ensure that the vehicle is stocked with safety gear including flashlights, blankets, a spare phone, an ice scraper, and tire chains.