Winter is just behind a corner. We’ve started wearing warm jackets, boots, and caps. Chimneys are breathing the smoke out and there are a load of supplies in our fridge in case of a long heavy snowstorm.
You’ve read our winter tips for seniors on our blog, and you believe you are ready for the coldest season of the year.
Snow falls. The neighborhood looks amazing, and you want to drive around. However, your family members don’t think it is a good idea to sit behind the wheel.
Indeed, driving on the snow requires more attention than usual. So here are several winter driving tips to ensure you will drive safely:
- Avoid ice on a parking lot
- Slow down if needed
- Practice driving in winter conditions
- Drive only in daytime
- Prepare a safety kit
- Don’t drive if you aren’t entirely healthy
Avoid Ice on a Parking Lot
Parking lots can be dangerous places, especially if there are puddles all over the place.
For seniors, a sudden fall can cause a lot of damage. Your bones and muscles are not as strong and flexible as they used to be. You should not risk a fall at any cost.
When parking a car, try to find a place which is not close to icy puddles. Also, make sure to wear skid-resistant shoes.
Read more tips on how to prevent falling in winter.
Slow Down If Needed
Knowing when to slow down is a skill you need particularly in winter. Roads can be snowy and icy, so maintaining a longer distance behind a vehicle is a must.
Don’t rush and accept the fact when you won’t make it on time. It is better to be late than to end up in a car accident.
Even if the snow has just started falling and it only slightly covers the road, serious accidents can happen.
Practice Driving in Winter Conditions
If you are not confident in your driving skills on a snowy road, it’s better to test yourself before hitting the road.
Find an empty lot (or even a road that is not busy), drive around and make turns. Learn how the car behaves and adjust your speed and turns to the conditions.
When you gain more confidence, go on a road which is not too busy and practice a bit more. Always have someone in the passenger seat next to you.
Drive Only in Daytime
Avoid driving at night at all costs, especially if you have vision issues. It’s getting darker earlier than in summer time, but don’t sit behind the wheel if it isn’t something urgent.
Visibility is generally lower during winter. Fog and snowstorms make the situation even worse. Don’t get in the car when the conditions are not perfect.
Prepare a Safety Kit
Always think in advance. Pack your car with necessary equipment in case of an emergency.
Take a blanket, shovel, ice scraper for the windshield, supply of water, first aid kit, extra clothes, and other essentials that can come in handy if you get stuck in a blizzard.
Also, test your battery to make sure it won’t suddenly die on the road, and check the pressure in the tires.
Don’t Drive If You Aren’t Entirely Healthy
Are you complaining that your vision is getting blurry? Do you feel pain in your back and neck and can’t turn on your side easily?
These are all reasons for avoiding driving in winter. Even the slightest pain or a health issue can cause you to lose concentration.
Not sure you should continue driving a car? Learn more about when seniors should stop driving.
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