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Winter Driving Safety Precautions

Almost one quarter (24%) of weather-related crashes stem from snowy, slushy or icy roads, whereas 15% occur during snowfall or sleet.

A variety of winter weather conditions—including snow, slush, ice and sleet—can create hazards on the road. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that crashes stemming from these conditions result in 116,800 injuries and 1,300 fatalities each year.

As such, employees who must get behind the wheel during winter—whether it’s to make a delivery, transport materials or travel to the job site—should take additional precautions to stay safe. If you find yourself driving in adverse conditions on the job this winter, be sure to uphold these safety measures:

  • Allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
  • Slow down ahead of turns and curves, as this will allow you to prepare for potential icy spots.
  • Apply power slightly to the gas and steer steadily when at a curve. Do not change directions abruptly and refrain from braking suddenly.
  • Be prepared for lane changes. Check your rearview mirror and blind spot, and then signal your direction to alert other motorists.
  • Move over in a long, gradual line with minimal steering changes when changing lanes.
  • Look out for ice patches and spots with snow buildup. These areas are skidding hazards.
  • Anticipate stops by slowing down gradually, well ahead of intersections. These areas are generally slicker than other parts of the road because of the excess starting and stopping traffic.
  • Drive at reduced speeds. Slow your speed and increase your following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. This will allow for a larger buffer in case you start to lose control.
  • Avoid overpowering your vehicle in deep snow.
  • Use a light foot on the accelerator rather than slamming on the gas to move forward