Whether you love or hate the winter season, the weather it brings does tend to make our commutes a bit more stressful. Here are a few tips and tricks from your friends at Ziebart to help you stay safe on the snow and ice-covered roads.
Know Your Vehicle
- Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual to get familiar with its features and how those individual components will perform in the winter weather.
- Make sure your tires are in good shape and that they’re properly inflated before you start driving. If you’re driving with all-season tires, check their tread and replace them if there’s less than 2/32 of an inch.
- Test your car battery! Battery power drops as the temperatures drop.
- Make sure your vehicle’s cooling system is in good working order.
- If possible, have winter tires with a deeper, more flexible tread put on your car.
- Check your windshield wiper blades and replace them if needed.
- Keep a cold weather “survival kit” in your trunk made up of nonperishable food, water bottles, warm clothing, hats and gloves, blankets, an ice scraper, a shovel, windshield washer fluid (rated for -30 degrees) and a flashlight in case you get stuck on the side of the road.
- Let someone know where you’re going and when you’re supposed to arrive at your destination.
- Keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times during the cold weather months.
- Take the time to completely clear your vehicle of snow and ice, including all windows, external camera lenses, sensors, mirrors, lights and reflectors.
- Only go out on the roads during bad weather if it’s absolutely necessary.
- Give yourself extra time to get to where you’re going.
- Drive slowly, and be mindful of the fact that your traction is reduced when driving over snow or ice.
- Increase your following distance by eight to 10 seconds to make it safer for you to stop on slick roads.
- Avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions.
- Steer in the direction of a skid. When your wheels regain traction, you won’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- If possible, don’t stop when traveling uphill.
- You should never text while driving or take part in any other risky driving behaviors, and this is especially true when the weather makes it that much easier to lose control of your vehicle.