While we may not receive that same harsh winter weather in North Carolina as our neighbors to the north, we still have a risk of seeing winter precipitation that can make our roadways hazardous.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation suggests preparing yourself for winter driving well before the season begins. However, preparation at any time is still effective should you find yourself having to navigate treacherous roads.
You should stock your vehicle with supplies you may need for winter. These include an ice scraper, blankets, windshield fluid, jumper cables and flares. You also need a first aid kit, water, a shovel and sand or kitty litter.
Never take off in bad weather without a half-tank of gas or more. You never know how long you may be on the road as you will have to travel slower. You do not want to end up stranded because you ran out of gas.
Ideally, when roadways are not in good condition, you should avoid driving. However, if you must go out, make sure you practice safe driving. The first rule is to slow down. You may not be able to go the posted speed limit, which is ok. You should drive at a speed at which you feel in control and safe.
When approaching bridges or other exposed areas, reduce your speed and avoid applying the brakes. These areas will freeze over more quickly than other parts of the roadway. You should also start braking early at stops to avoid having to slam on the brakes, which can result in sliding. Above all, make sure that you assess roadways before heading out so that you know what conditions to expect.