North Carolina isn’t known for having horrible winters. The state doesn’t usually get that much snow. Fayetteville only averages about two inches of snowfall each year, which means drivers have little practice with slick winter roads.
Still, whether those two inches come down in a single storm or fall a quarter-inch at a time over several weeks, the risk is there for drivers to lose control of their vehicle when the winter weather is coldest and precipitation is heaviest.
The good news is that you don’t need additional driver’s training or new tires to drive safely on roads covered by snow, sleet or ice. There is actually one safety trick that can go a long way toward helping you avoid crashes caused by unsafe winter weather driving habits.
Rework your morning routine to give yourself a little more flexibility
If you are like most working adults, you would probably love to have a few extra minutes in bed in the morning, especially when it’s cold and overcast outside. However, when the weather is the worst in winter, you should do your best to get up a little bit earlier.
Although weather forecasting has become more reliable in recent years, it isn’t always possible to predict accumulation at night before professionals go to bed. If you wake up to discover an unexpected snowstorm, you will already be running behind schedule.
Getting up just 15 minutes earlier during the winter than you do through the rest of the year will ensure that you can leave earlier for work and drive more slowly to accommodate the dangerous accumulation of snow, ice or sleet on the roads.
Driving too fast for road conditions is the biggest winter driving mistakes
It is not safe to take the sharp curve of your freeway exit at the same speed in icy conditions as you would during a warm summer day. You need to drop your overall speed. You also want to increase the following distance between your vehicle’s front end and the car ahead of you.
Traveling more slowly and giving yourself more room to stop will go a long way toward preventing a crash when the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse.