It may still technically be fall, but here in New England, we know better and the storm alerts have already started pouring in. If you can't avoid driving in icy or snowy conditions, consider implementing the tips below to make your drive just a little bit safer.

  • The biggest mistakes drivers make when operating their vehicle in winter weather include going too fast, not looking far enough ahead, slamming on the brakes, and braking and accelerating through turns. Always proceed with extra caution when roads aren't clear or black ice is possible. Stay out of the way of snow removal trucks and be sure to watch out for pedestrians who may be clearing snow in their own driveways or around mailboxes and hydrants.
  • Stopping distances can be increased by 2-10 times when ice or snow is one the road. By anticipating this, you can slow gradually and under control. When driving a front wheel drive vehicle on slick roads, brake to an appropriate speed prior to initiating the turn, release the brakes and steer through the turn, accelerate only after you hvae completed the turn. 
  • If your windows are fogging up, turn on your air conditioning along with the defroster - the AC will carry moisture out of the cabin. Make sure your ventilation system is set to "Fresh Air" so that damp air is exhausted from the car, not just recirculated. Brush snow off your clothes and kick slush from your boots before you get into the car - melting snow adds humidity to the air, which fogs the windows. 

Be prepared - keep these items in your vehicle at all times in case of emergency:

  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Sleeping bag/heavy blanket
  • Matches and fire starting supplies
  • Drinking water
  • A set of warm clothing, including a winter coat, boots, hat, socks and gloves.
  • Nonperishable food such as nuts and energy bars.
  • Snow shovel and ice scraper
  • Sunglasses or goggles
  • Anti-freeze

With these simple steps, a whole lot of headache can be avoided. Every year, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet. Each year, 24% of weather related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15% happen during snowfall or sleet.