Winter Driving Safety Tips

December 16, 2015

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. All across the world, people are back with their families, visiting loved ones and old friends, all while bringing tidings of comfort and joy. Magical is the best way to describe this time of the year. Those roads however, not so much. We’ve had it pretty easy so far in some parts of the U.S.A, but don’t feel too relaxed; winter is coming.

Anticipate Instead of Reacting –

Dad always said, “It’s not you I’m worried about driving, it’s everyone else on the road.” Analyze the road all around you and look further into traffic to judge the actions by those ahead of you. If you know you have to brake, tap the brakes to test traction and get ready to brake early. Double the amount of time and space required to brake when there is snow or ice on the road. Bridges are more exposed to air and tend to freeze quicker. Anticipate ice being on bridges and adjust accordingly by giving more space in between you and other drivers.

Go With the Flow -

Should you find yourself driving on icy roads, speed is the last thing you should be concerned about. Like Dad also said, “It doesn’t matter how quickly you get there, it matters that you get there.” The majority of us know not to hit the gas pedal too hard in winter conditions, but if somehow you find yourself at a high rate of speed and start to swerve, don’t over adjust. Don’t panic and slam on the brakes, instead tap the brakes lightly and frequently all while gently steering in the direction of the swerve. Please also refrain from using cruise control. Should you start to swerve or if your tires lose traction, the cruise control will attempt to readjust to its programmed speed and that means accelerating.

Clean off Your Car! -

What we can’t see, can hurt us. For instance, if we can’t see what’s around us while we’re driving, we could seriously hurt ourselves or others. Most of us scrape the windshield when it’s needed, but please, make sure to clean off the snow or ice from each and every one of your windows. Those windows aren’t intended for you to enjoy your view from destination to destination, they’re there so you can actually see what’s around you. If you wake up early to drive to work and there’s snow on the car, a remote starter can remedy that for you. Press the button when you wake up and the snow’s s(no)w more! 

Tread on Me -

Imagine icy roads as the antagonist in a film and your vehicle’s occupants are the group of innocents just trying to go about their day. The knight in shining armor standing in between you and that villainous icy threat is the tread on your tires. The traction between tires and roadway determines how well a vehicle rides, turns, and stops, and is crucial for safe driving in the winter. Also make sure to check the tire pressure in all of your tires. Proper inflation helps with grip and traction. If you’re unsure how to inspect the tread on your tire yourself, we definitely recommend asking a professional for their opinion.

Cautionary Supplies –

If you know you’re about to drive in a snow storm or in unfavorable conditions, a surplus of supplies is never a bad idea! Here are a few ideas you may not know about…

Bag of sand, salt or kitty litter – In case you need extra traction. You can also purchase specialty traction mats to help!

Portable car battery charger or jumper cables – Winter weather is notorious for causing dead batteries. Cold weather and old batteries do not mix.

Fuel de-icer – Serves to remove any moisture from your fuel lines so that those lines don’t freeze.

Please also make sure to dress warm and bring a blanket! If you’re traveling far for the holidays and away from populated areas, make sure to bring consumables like water and food just in case!

We hope something in this article has stuck out. Maybe there was something included that you had not known about before. Whatever it was or wasn’t, we just want to stress how important it is to be safe out there. Winter conditions are no fun for anyone and we truly wish the safest of travels for everyone! Enjoy the holidays! 

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