5 Snow Driving Safety Tips for Maine’s First Big Snowfall
We've all seen it, and I'd argue, if you haven't seen it, you're the one doing it: People forgetting how to drive in the snow in a safe manner. Here are 5 tips for a quick refresher as Maine faces the first big snowfall of the season.
5. Clear your windshield
I get it, scraping ice off your windshield is a pain in the you-know-what when it's already freezing, you're getting wet and snowed on, and just want to get to where you need to be. I've been there. I've been the irresponsible driver who scrapes just enough and then relies on the defroster and windshield washer fluid to do the rest. Don't be me. It's incredibly dangerous to hinder your visual field more than the snow already is. That being said, make sure you check your washer fluid so you can keep up with the falling snow in your travels, and keep an extra with you just in case!
4. Clear off the rest of your car
Again, it's a pain. Especially if you have a truck, van, or SUV. But don't be that guy who's driving down the road and then a large chunk of snow flies off and onto the car behind you. It can be startling and the driver could lose sight of the road. Don't be lazy. Just brush it off.
3. Use your headlights
In Maine, you have to have your headlights on when you're using your wipers. It's the law. But even if it wasn't, this greatly improves your visibility to others on the road amongst the swirling snowfall.
2. Give space
This should go without saying but it's one of the worst transgressions on the Maine roads in the winter. Yes, there are some people out there that drive slower than you think they should. That person cold be older and trying to be extra careful. They could be a new driver and this is their first winter behind the wheel. Or maybe they just know what their vehicle is capable of. They don't need the added pressure of you riding their bumper. If there's an opportunity to pass safely, by all means, do it.
This is also important for plow trucks. These drivers are doing their job, they're not just out for a leisurly drive. They have significant blind spots that everyone should be mindful of.
1. SLOW DOWN
Even if you have the most winter prepared vehicle on the market, don't be overconfident. You could still come across a driver who doesn't have that kind of vehicle and it's much easier to avoid an out of control vehicle or unexpected hazard if you're going slow. Not to mention, it doesn't matter what you have for a vehicle if there's slush or black ice.
Ok, I'll get off my soapbox. Drive safely tomorrow, and the dozen of other inevitible storms this season.