One of the most difficult things to do in winter is to drive. Snow-covered, slushy roads make it hard and harrowing for the drivers. In addition, the possibility of an unexpected blizzard cropping up and maybe getting stuck in a snowbank looms like a nightmare that constantly threatens your peace of mind. Fortunately, there is something you can actually do about it!
In this blog, we are going to discuss important winter driving safety tips that will help you stay safe and sound on the road this Winter. Read on to know!
Prepare Your Car
As they say, it is better to be safe than sorry! Make sure that your vehicle is properly winterized before taking to the road. It can adequately be done in a few steps!
- Get your car serviced by a mechanic. Make sure that all the parts of your car are functioning properly, including ignition, wiring, hoses, brakes, batteries, spark plugs, air filters, and more.
- Equip your car with a winter driving kit. It should include items such as gloves, booster cables, a small shovel, windshield wiper fluid, a torch, a snow brush, candles, a safety vest, and water bottles.
- Be sure to fill up your tank. It reduces moisture in the fuel system and adds extra weight to the vehicle.
- Get winter tires, if you don’t already have them. They provide better traction, handling, and braking, and shorten your braking distance by as much as 25%.
- Double check the exhaust of your vehicle’s exhaust pipe. It easily gets clogged with ice and road debris, and the engine running increases the possibility of deadly carbon monoxide filling up your car.
- Get your vehicle insured. The insurance will cover any damages that may occur due to unforeseen severe weather.
Fill Up The Trunk
It would help if you fill your trunk with the necessary supplies as well. They prove to be a lifesaver in case you get stuck somewhere in a snowy night. Here are the items you must definitely have with you when driving in winter!
- Blankets and hand warmers to keep you warm in chilly weather.
- An ice scraper to scrape snow off your car and maintain visibility.
- A well stocked first aid kit to help you in case of an emergency.
- Extra washer fluids. They are readily available in all gas station and grocery stores.
- A bag or two of non-perishable food items. Trail mix and nuts are great for long drives.
Watch The Weather
Before setting out on the road, check the weather forecast to see if it will be safe to drive outside. You can also sign up for weather alerts to receive text messages and optional alerts for your area. Also, check for road conditions as well for potential closures or delays.
Driving In Snow
- First things first, drive slowly. Don’t rush when maneuvering the vehicle. Apply the gas slowly to accelerate. This will help you in regaining the traction and avoiding skids.
- Use the highest gear to avoid a wheel spin, which in turn could cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
- When driving up a hill, don’t suddenly power up. Instead, let the inertia form before you reach the hill. The inertia will carry you to the top.
- If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold and snowy weather. Also, don’t use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
- Leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.\
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other drivers.
- When stuck, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline. Tie a bright colored cloth to the antenna of your car to signal distress.
Try to avoid driving entirely in bad weather. However, if it is absolutely necessary, adhere to the advice above and stay safe!