Guest Post by Dixie Sommers
The cold winter months can be dangerous for travel by road if you aren’t properly prepared. In addition to being vigilant while on the road, you also need to make sure that your vehicle remains well-maintained at all times. With a little bit of planning and some foresight, you can drastically reduce your risk of experiencing a life-altering collision or catastrophic breakdown.
Leave a Few Minutes Early
One of the best ways to stay safe while out on the road is to leave a few minutes early. By giving yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going, you will be able to drive slower and focus on the road in front of you. If you are running late, you might not catch potential hazards such as black ice or cars that are stuck on the side of the road.
Give Larger Vehicles Plenty of Room
CDL holders take plenty of classes on commercial vehicle safety, but driving larger trucks can still be more dangerous during the coldest months of the year. In addition to giving commercial vehicles plenty of room, you should also stay out of their blind spots. Even though some modern trucks have multiple exterior cameras, they could still have blind spots as well. Drivers never want to be in those blind spots when the trucks swerve or hit patches of ice. Giving larger vehicles plenty of space gives you more space to stay safe and out-of-the-way.
Inspect Your Vehicle Regularly
Freezing temperatures will take their toll on your vehicle, and that is why you should inspect your car or truck regularly—especially if you drive as part of your job. During those inspections, you should be looking for issues such as cracked hoses, frayed belts, and low tires. You also need to keep a close eye on your vehicle’s fluids if you happen to live in an area that gets particularly cold. In addition to the inner workings of your vehicle, you should inspect any safety equipment or covers. Straps, belts, and covers can become a distraction if they come loose during a long drive. Going to a specialty shop for replacements or repairs, like Glider Systems Inc, should be done prior to embarking.
Have Your Vehicle Serviced
At least every month or two, you should have your vehicle inspected and serviced by a professional mechanic. During those service calls, bring up anything you might have concerns about. They will look for a wide variety of common maintenance issues such as low fluids, bald spots on your tires, and damaged windshield wipers as well as more complicated issues that only a trained eye can see. Regular maintenance will drastically reduce your risk of a catastrophic breakdown during a winter storm.
During a heavy storm, there may come a point when driving is completely out of the question. Icy roads and strong winds are very dangerous to drive in, and you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to your safety.
More About Dixie
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.
*Photos courtesy of Dixie Somers