Just like that, the warm summer days have given way to short, cold winter months.
While the seasons may be changing, your daily driving routine hasn’t. To ensure that you stay safe while on the road – and keep others around you safe as well – consider the following tips for winter driving safety. Whether driving in cold, icy, or snowy conditions, knowing the best tips for winter driving (especially when driving in the snow) can make driving more enjoyable – and possibly save your life!
8 Tips For Winter Driving
1. Make Sure Your Car Is Winterized
Winterizing your vehicle helps you make sure that your car is ready for anything Mother Nature throws its way this winter season. Whether you keep your car in the garage or park it on the road, keeping up to date with routine maintenance and replacing fluids, brakes and at least half a tank of fuel will ensure that your car stays strong and healthy. Always seek the help of a trained mechanic when seeking to winterize your vehicle and work on avoiding any false or misleading advertisements.
2. Keep Your Tires Inflated
The cold weather can do a number on your tires. When air pressure and temperature changes, you can go to bed with a full tire and wake up to a flat! Before every trip, take a look at each tire and address any low pressure issues before driving.
3. Wear Your Seatbelt
While it should go without saying, you should always wear your seatbelt while driving in the winter. Winter months can bring fast, unexpected changes in weather – including snow, sleet, and ice. Wearing your seatbelt can protect you in the event of the unexpected.
4. Drive Slowly In Bad Weather
If the weather deteriorates, it is vital that you begin to practice defensive driving to avoid any car accidents. Drive slowly to ensure that your tires keep their grip on the ground, especially when snow, slush, or ice is present.
5. Practice Defensive Driving
Similar to above, there are a variety of defensive driving techniques that can keep you safe while on the road in the winter. When driving, make sure that you accelerate and accelerate slowly, allowing plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles. Try to implement the 4 second rule – keeping 4 seconds of space between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you – to ensure you have plenty of time to slow down if you hit a slick spot.
6. Never Drive Distracted
As always, avoid using devices while you are driving. The winter months, with their increased risk of dangerous conditions, is a great time to start practicing putting your phone away and out of reach while driving. Remember, it can wait!
7. Stay Updated On Weather Conditions
The winter is known for fast-changing weather conditions. To make sure that you don’t find yourself in unexpected conditions, hop online or download a weather app to your phone to have a forecast and radar at hand at all times.
8. Keep A Fully Stocked Emergency Kit In Your Car
Even when you follow all the safety tips above, the unexpected can always happen. Whether you find yourself in a fender-bender, or your vehicle dies while on the road, it is vital that you maintain a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. Consider items such as bottled water, a blanket, road flares, and others to help you stay warm while you wait for help to arrive.
As you follow the winter weather driving tips listed above, you can drive in the colder months with confidence. Keep yourself alert and follow all road condition updates as you drive to ensure that you and your fellow drivers stay safe in the winter!