Winter driving in Ohio requires more skills and patience than any other time of the year. There are many factors that should be addressed and recognized before even putting your vehicle in gear.
VEHICLE INSPECTIONS - You should visibly inspect your vehicle every time you intend on driving it. Just a quick few seconds can save you from potential losses of property or perhaps even save your life or the lives of others. Check visibility remove all snow and ice from headlights, taillights and mirrors. Make sure that your lights are in working order. Check your tires for proper inflation and remember that deflating your tires does NOT create better traction. Check fluid levels, including washer fluid. Make sure to keep your gas tank as full as possible to prevent fuel line freeze up. Check the horn, adjust the mirrors and make sure your brakes are working properly.
SPEED - Most winter accidents are caused by one overwhelming factor - traveling too fast for the road conditions! It is important to remember that the posted speed limit is for dry conditions. The one singular factor that you control to help prevent winter accidents is your speed. SLOW DOWN! Be patient and courteous and adjust your speed to the conditions around you.
BRAKING - Slippery road surfaces can increase your required stopping distance up to three times the distance required to stop on dry pavement. When it first rains or snows, extra caution needs to be taken because oils from the road are riding on the surface. The "two-second rule" (pick a point on the road ahead of the vehicle in front or you - as the vehicle in front of you reaches that point, start counting, "one-one thousand, two-one thousand". If you reach that point before you finish the count - you're too close) can actually become the six-secondrule! And when you stop behind someone, always stop far enough back so you can see his rear tires on the road.
SKIDS - When stopping, do not slam and lock your brakes up - this can cause you to go into a skid. Sometimes even with a gradual slow down, skids can occur. If you find yourself in a skid, take your foot off the gas (do not brake) and steer in the direction of the skid. As the vehicle comes back under your control, gradually turn your wheel back and continue driving.
ACCIDENTS - Rear end collisions are common in the winter. By using common sense and the factors listed above, you may be able to prevent a rear end collision. Intersections are another dangerous area. Many drivers may not be as patient as you and may "run" a light or be driving to fast for conditions. Make sure the intersection is clear and vehicles are stopped before proceeding through the intersection. Parking lots also require special attention. Avoid backing whenever possible. But if you do have to back up, then back into the parking space instead of backing out.
"ASSUME NOTHING - EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED"