Winter in Oklahoma can inspire challenging driving conditions that increase the risk of vehicle crashes. From icy roads to reduced visibility, drivers must be extra cautious to navigate the roads safely during this time of the year.
As Oklahoma winters can be unpredictable, with conditions ranging from mild to severe ice storms, it’s – first and foremost – important to stay informed about the weather forecast, especially if you plan to travel. Conditions can change rapidly, so it’s important to be prepared.
Tips to keep in mind
Before the season begins in earnest, take time to ensure that your vehicle is winter-ready. This includes checking the battery, lights, brakes and heating system. Make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Especially if you live in a rural area, consider winter tires for better traction. Before you drive anywhere in winter, clear all snow and ice from your vehicle, including windows, lights and the roof. Snow and ice can obstruct your view or fly off and hit another vehicle.
Once you’re on the road, remember that speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. In winter, slow down to accommodate the road conditions. Even if the roads look clear, black ice can be a hidden danger, especially on bridges and overpasses. Partially due to changes in conditions in the winter, you’ll also want to be especially careful to keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Stopping on icy or wet roads can take longer than on dry roads. Increasing your following distance gives you more time to react.
Additionally, it’s wise to turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers, even during the day, especially if it’s snowing or raining.
Finally, keep in mind that the best way to avoid a crash in bad weather is to stay off the roads. If the weather is severe, consider postponing your trip.