Driving Tips for Navigating Winter Weather

Snow and ice on the roads can present new challenges while driving. Winter conditions require extra precautions to navigate the roads safely.

First and foremost, stay off the roads if you do not have to travel anywhere.

If you do have to go out, consider these tips to preparing your vehicle and self to drive in the winter.

Before departing:

  • Keep your vehicle’s maintenance up to date. Don’t wait until you get stranded to get your car checked.
  • Ensure your gas tank is at least half full before departing. This will ensure your gas lines do not freeze up and also ensure you don’t run out of gas on the way to your destination.
  • Never start your car inside of a closed area such as a garage. The fumes can be harmful.
  • Ensure tires are properly inflated to ensure the best traction with the roadways.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly. Snow from other vehicles, falling from frees and the roadways can affect your visibility. In addition, make sure you have windshield fluid in the reservoir so you can clean your windshield as needed.
  • Ensure your lights (both front and brake) are working. You will want to be sure other vehicles see you on the road.
  • Before departing, ensure you have cleaned any snow off of your vehicle. Snow falling from your car onto the one behind you is extremely dangerous. Also clear it off of your lights.
  • Carry a survival kit in case you get stranded. This should include items such as a warm blanket, water and a snack.
  • Keep basic tools in your truck should you need them such as jumper cables, a shovel, window scraper and small bag of sand.

While driving:

  • Always buckle up prior to putting your vehicle into gear.
  • Never use cruise control on an icy road. Black ice can cause you to slip unexpectedly.
  • Slow down! Travel at a speed that allows you plenty of reaction time to stop.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This will allow your tires to make traction with the roadways.
  • If there is a snowplow around, try to drive behind allowing at least 200 feet between the plow and your vehicle. The roadway ahead of the snowplow will not be as cleared as behind it.
  • If you begin to slide, never slam on the brake. Take your foot off of the accelerator and gently press the brake while holding the steering wheel steady.

Sources:

http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/