5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

by Super User
on 10 February 2015

If you live in a Northern state or an area that gets snow during the winter, you know that driving during this particular season comes with with its own set of rules. With the holidays falling around this time of year...

 

If you live in a Northern state or an area that gets snow during the winter, you know that driving during this particular season comes with its own set of rules. With the holidays falling around this time of year, hitting the road during the winter is sometimes unavoidable. Get started on readying your car for snow and ice with these simple steps.

  • Haveyour car checked by a mechanic before the start of the season. Ask them to do a thorough inspection and make sure there aren’t any repairs or replacements that need taking care of. Most importantly, make sure your battery, cooling system, wipers, and tires are in prime condition.
  • Keep
    your gas tank full (or at least half full). In the event you break down or get stranded, you already know the safest thing to do is to stay with your vehicle. You’ll want to use the heat to keep yourself and passenger’s warm until help arrives or the storm clears. Don’t forget to crack a window when the engines running; an exhaust pipe that becomes clogged with snow can force carbon monoxide into the car, putting yourself and your passenger’s at risk.
  • Keepan emergency kit handy. Some things to have on hand are: blankets, food, water, jumper cables, flashlight(s), batteries, flares, a first aid kit, an ice scraper, and a cell phone charger. Keep your kit in the glove box rather than the trunk in case it gets frozen shut.
  • Practice
    driving in the snow. Once you have a few inches on the ground, familiarize yourself with the way your vehicle responds in these conditions. Don’t hit the main road just yet! It’s best to sharpen your skills in an empty parking lot with lots of daylight.
  • Driveslowly and learn how to brake properly. It’s harder to stop your vehicle when on slick and snow covered roads; keep a safe following distance between yourself and the car in front of you. If you do have to hit the brakes, it’s important to know what kind you have. With antilock brakes, keep the pressure firm and steady; if they aren’t antilock brakes, pump them gently until you come to a stop.

Whether you get stuck having to drive in the snow, or physically become immobilized during a winter storm, you’ll be thankful to have prepared in advance for what can be dangerous and deadly conditions. But remember, whenever possible, stay home! Unless it’s an emergency, try and stay off the roads until the weather improves.

 

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