Winter is often a great time of year for holidays, snow activities and cozy nights by the fire. But when it comes to motor vehicle safety, winter can be dangerous. The colder temperatures, icy roads and snowfall in Pennsylvania can all increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents during the winter months, so it’s important to understand the potential hazards and take extra precautions.
Ice and heavy snowfall
When roads are covered in ice, it’s difficult for vehicles to gain traction and maintain control on the road. This can lead to skidding and sliding, which can result in motor vehicle accidents. Drivers should allow extra time to slow down and take turns with caution during icy conditions. In addition, heavy snowfall can reduce visibility, which makes it difficult to anticipate the movement of other drivers. If snowfall is severe, drivers should consider avoiding the roads altogether or driving at reduced speeds.
Animals like deer, elk and moose are more likely to be on the roads during the winter months because they are searching for food. These large animals can cause severe damage and injury if they are hit by motor vehicles. Drivers should be extra vigilant of wildlife on the roads, especially in rural areas, and always be prepared to stop.
When temperatures drop below freezing, motor vehicle mechanics can become compromised. For instance, motor oil can thicken and become less efficient, which can lead to motor failure. Drivers should check motor fluids regularly during the winter months and ensure their motor vehicles are well-maintained in order to avoid mechanical issues.
During the winter months, there is less daylight. This can reduce visibility and make it harder to see other vehicles on the road. Drivers should be extra cautious when driving in low-light conditions and make sure that their headlights are working properly.
It’s generally unsafe to drive in harsh winter weather conditions, so avoid it if possible. However, if you must drive during the winter months, be sure to take extra precautions and always practice safe motor vehicle operation.