With the first snow of the season upon us, we thought it prudent to review some winter driving best practices! If you think of something we missed, please tell us in the comments! We appreciate you sharing with others to help everyone be safer at this time of year.

We hope these tips are helpful, especially if you’re new here in Utah. Talk to your older children as well about winter driving, and share with your neighbors. We are all responsible for safety on our roads and highways.

Plan to take some extra time for your commute.

Decrease your speed and stay in lower gears if you drive a manual transmission. It’s important to maintain as much control of your vehicle as possible, and this becomes more difficult as your speed increases. Don’t use cruise control either as this may slow your reaction time in case of an emergency.

Turn your lights on.

Give yourself every opportunity to see and be seen. Take corners wide and slowly. Accelerate slowly and cautiously at intersections just in case someone comes sliding through.

Have proper equipment.

Keep a shovel (square-nosed, not a rounded spade) and some sand or salt in your car in case you get stuck. Another product, called ‘Tow Truck in a Box’ may also be handy. Also keep an ice scraper and a snow brush easily accessible. It’s easier not to keep it in the trunk in case your vehicle is covered in snow.

It’s also a good idea to keep emergency supplies on hand, such as blankets, dry clothing, additional coats or jackets, gloves, food, drinking water, a fire extinguisher, and medical supplies, such as essential medications and a first aid kit. Many of these items can be stuffed in a 5 gallon bucket or plastic tote for safe, clean storage of these crucial supplied.

Know your vehicle.

Understand the basics of vehicle maintenance, the tread and type of your tires, your braking system, and know how to use them to your advantage. With careful driving, most vehicles are more than adequate for at least city driving during the winter. A little prevention goes a long way!

Another way to be prepared is to understand the laws surrounding car accidents and personal injury, and how best to follow the law so you can protect yourself and your family, not only physically and emotionally, but financially as well. To get your free copy of the book, “7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case,” call 801-506-0800 or via UtahAccidentBook.com. If the need ever arises that you or a loved one need to speak to a personal injury attorney about a car accident, or wrongful death, Christensen & Hymas is prepared to assist you in getting the help you need so you can focus on healing.

Image courtesy of: Oregon Department of Transportation