Winter’s cold weather brings chaos, commotion, and disorder onto the roads every year in Michigan. According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in winter vehicle crashes annually in the US. For new drivers especially, it is vital to be informed on how to stay safe in your vehicle. Whether it be taking cumbersome precautions, or attributes as basic as remembering to fasten seatbelts, safety is a major priority when on the roads.
There is a variety of essential supplies to keep in mind when driving a vehicle in the winter. A sturdy ice scraper and snow brush alone can allow a clear view through your windshield, and a proper view while driving. In the back of the trunk, it’s prudent to possess spare winter clothing, to keep the driver warm and prepared for any unseen circumstances. It is also helpful to have a trowel, or small shovel, in case of a situation in which the car gets stuck, or a path must be cleared. Emergency reflectors or road flares have the capability of saving the driver’s life since snowstorms can reduce visibility whether it be daytime or nighttime. For scenarios in which one need traction, rock salt or cat litter will fix the slippery situation when spread around the tires. Snow commonly affects a car’s battery, making jumper cables a necessity in some cases. With the addition of a first aid kit, should an accident occur, it can certainly keep people stable before any emergency vehicles can arrive.
“New drivers in the winter very often forget about their speed. It is very important to keep their speed down and recognize when black ice is on the roads. Being cautious and staying in control…” Geri Demars, a driver’s education instructor at Auto XL said.