close of up snow-covered car wheel in an icy road

It’s the Most Worrisome Time of the Year

As a one-time host of the Winter Olympics, Utah has long been a favorite vacation destination for skiing, snowboarding, and all sorts of frigid fun. After all, we do have “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” But for Utah drivers who must battle those elements every year, who are hoping to avoid being in one of the nearly 10,000 annual weather-related crashes, the snow quickly becomes “the greatest headache on earth.”

In 2020 alone, when fewer people were out driving due to the global pandemic, Utah still racked up a disturbing array of accident statistics:

  • 4,821 crashes in adverse weather
  • 3,691 crashes reporting only property damage
  • 1,546 total injuries
  • 18 total fatalities

Unfortunately, it’s a tale as old as time: frantic driving, choked highways, and adverse weather conditions are a surefire recipe for an unplanned visit to Master Muffler. While the professionals in our Clearfield car repair center love working on your vehicle, they would prefer it to be on your timetable. As winter approaches, let’s review some tips for safe winter driving.

Checking Your Car

Do you remember your driving instructor telling you to perform a pre-driving inspection of your vehicle before heading out onto the road? While the advice is undoubtedly sound, many drivers abandon the task as soon as their license is issued. 

While we admit that it is unreasonable to expect that a driver will run down the pre-driving checklist before getting behind the wheel every single time, a car inspection is like going to the gym: even managing to do it sometimes is better than never doing it at all. If you want to avoid unnecessary car repairs, winter is that time.

First, a refresher on what to inspect:

  • The area immediately surrounding the car, checking for animals, objects, and children.
  • The headlights and taillights, including turn signals. They should all work and be bright.
  • Cracks in the windshield. The cold will make cracks grow, which can be dangerous.
  • Your tire pressure. Tires will lose air in the cold temperatures as they shrink.
  • Your car’s fluid level, including underneath for any signs of leakage.

Inspecting your car means respecting your dashboard warning lights as well. If you are getting any indication that something is wrong with your vehicle, be sure to bring it to our Clearfield car repair center as soon as possible.

Checking Your Driving

It is a sad truth that many crashes in adverse weather are due in large part to drivers who don’t take the weather seriously. Either they are driving too fast with poor visibility or are continuing to be distracted despite the road conditions, drivers are making it all too easy for the snow to get them into trouble.

Remember these tips when you’re behind the wheel:

  • If there’s ice or standing water on the road, you need extra time to slow down. Don’t follow anyone too closely.
  • The weather is a great, socially-acceptable reason to be late, so let yourself be late.
  • Handle your driving personally by leaving cruise control off.
  • Mind your headlights. It may be tempting to shine your brights on roads with poor visibility but reflective surfaces like wet roads make that dangerous for other drivers.

Winter driving is a part of life here in Utah but annual car repairs due to bad weather accidents don’t have to be. Ultimately, the best way to avoid dangerous incidents is to be wise and courteous on the road. For every other type of repair, you can trust Master Muffler.

Categories: Driving Safety

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