Winter Weather Brings out the Worst in Philadelphia Drivers

You can feel it. The days are shorter, the air crisper and cooler, and if that werent enough, the Christmas displays in your favorites stores started going up weeks ago. Winter is on its way to Philadelphia, and with it comes winter weather followed by winter drivers, which sometimes could lead to car crashes. Here are two driver types to watch out for.

The know-it-all

No matter what the weather, the know-it-all thinks they know exactly what they are doing and are too good at driving to slow down. The snow is sticking to the road more each moment and conditions are getting slicker, yet they are still speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. They seem not to notice that anyone else is on the road at all. All around them other drivers are reacting nervously, slamming on brakes and swerving to get out of the way.

The nervous driver

The nervous drivers may be wondering why they even left their house at all, and so is everyone around them. Even though there are only a few raindrops falling on the ground, they have slowed down to a snail’s pace. They don’t seem to realize that driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as driving too fast.

Of course, you are neither of these drivers, but it is a good idea to go over a few safety tips for driving in winter weather.

Winter Driving Tips:

  1. Decrease your speed: You should only go as fast as weather conditions allow. If you are slipping and sliding on the road, it is time to slow down.
  2. Just not too much: Your pace should also be determined by the speed of the cars around you. If you are going drastically slower than everyone else, it can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. If you aren’t comfortable driving with the flow of traffic, you could always find a different route with a slower speed limit and fewer cars.
  3. Increase your visibility to other drivers: Turn on your lights to make it easier for other cars to see you. If there is snow on your car, make sure to clear it off headlights and taillights.
  4. Make sure you have a good view too: Allow enough time to warm up the car before you leave. Give the defrost time to fully unfog your windows. Take advantage of this time to completely clear snow and ice off your windows and mirrors as well.
  5. No sudden movements: Brake gently and take your time speeding up and slowing down. Sudden movements are more likely to make you slide.
  6. Get back in control quickly: If you do start sliding, take your foot off the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel the way you want the front of the car to go, commonly referred to as turning into the slide. Press firmly on the brakes if you have antilock brakes, or pump the brakes gently if you don’t.
  7. Increase your personal space: You will need three times more room to stop in slick conditions, so be sure to leave extra room between you and the car ahead of you. Rear-end accidents are the most common kind of accident occurring in slick weather and can be prevented by simply allowing more space.
  8. Stay home: If the weather is too bad, consider rescheduling your plans or running those errands later. After all, staying inside cuddled up with a warm blanket, a good book, and a mug of hot cocoa sounds like more fun anyway.

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Philadelphia, PA 19109

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