Ten Winter Driving Tips for Massachusetts Drivers

Whether we like the weather or not, winter conditions make for more dangerous and more variable conditions on Massachusetts roads. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents can occur more often. We have taken some of the driving safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Transportation to give Massachusetts drivers winter driving safety tips.

1. In extreme weather, don’t drive!
2. Don’t drive when tired or in any way when impaired by any substance;
3. Be sure your engine, fluids and breaks are checked and keep gas in your tank (to avoid water vapor build up);
4. Keep an ice scraper, a shovel, jumper cables, sand, extra clothing and sand in the vehicle;
5. Remove all snow and ice from the vehicle before operating (we already have one case this winter because a young driver failed to defrost her window and injured a student at a bus stop);
6. Drive with headlights (and taillights) on in all wintry and foggy weather for safety;
7. Icy conditions require experience – apply lighter pressure to the brake (and gas) more lightly, note that bridges freeze before roads, don’t use cruise control, allow more distance between vehicles; be extra cautious when changing lanes; for drivers of four wheel drive vehicles, remember that they will not stop faster than two wheel drive vehicles;
8. Driving behind a plow can be dangerous, but passing a plow can be even more dangerous;
9. Keep children bucked in and calm, teach them about winter driving safety;
10. Cellphones and other such devices should be avoided due to their distractive nature; they are illegal for teenagers, and texting is illegal for all;
We lied; there is an eleventh tip, but it applied to all seasons and may be responsible for a disproportionate number of motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions
11. Intersections are dangerous; enter cautiously even when you have the right of way;