Winter Driving Safety

Winter Driving Safety

Kennewick Police Dept.-Press Release

Winter will be upon us shortly. We went from the leaves are changing colors to the mornings are colder and we are about to experience snow. To help all of us prepare for the winter and our cars, here are some tips to make your next trip on slippery roads a little easier:

Prepare your car by completely removing all of the snow or ice. All too often we see drivers venturing out on the street with only a small space in the windshield cleared for the driver to see. It is already dangerous with slick streets. Don’t make it worse by not being able to see. Keeping all of the snow and ice off of your car helps others see you better and will help your car warm up more quickly. This includes ensuring your head lights and taillights can be seen.

Make sure that your car has wiper blades that are in good condition with de-icer fluid. If the blades are not in good condition then you could find yourself without them because they broke in the freezing conditions

Ensure that your tires have adequate tread and are rated for all weather conditions. Those low profile performance tires you bought last summer will not work well at all in the snow and ice.

If you are traveling across a mountain pass then it is required to carry chains and recommended to have emergency supplies such as a shovel, sand, water, food and warm clothing.

Above all, give yourself extra time and increase your following distance. As you approach an intersection you may find that it is the most slippery part of the roadway because all of the cars have been sliding. The roadway may look clear right up until you begin to slow down and find that the roadway is more slippery than you thought.

To avoid and accident, give yourself extra time and extra following distance. As you approach and intersection apply brakes well before you arrive. If the intersection is iced over, you will be going slow enough to avoid a collision. If you have ABS brakes, then apply and hold them down. If you have an older car without ABS brakes then pump the brake pedal to avoid letting the tires locking up into a skid. Once your car starts to skid, you have lost control.

We have a lot of winter driving ahead of us. Take your time and get to your destination safely.