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7 Winter Weather Driving Tips

7 Winter Weather Driving Tips

Slippery roads, bad weather, and freezing temperatures are all characteristics of winter weather driving. 

As the weather gets colder, it becomes more dangerous and frightening to drive in winter weather conditions. If you plan to drive during the winter, use these safety winter driving tips to help you stay safe on the icy and snowy roads.

Prepare your vehicle for winter weather

 As the winter approaches, make sure to winterize your car by making sure it is properly equipped for driving on snowy roads. Be sure to check the following before embarking on your trip to stay safe:

  • Keep the gas tank full

  • Change your oil and oil filters

  • Keep windows clear, clean, and treated with antifog

  • Fully charge the battery and ensure your charging system is working

  • Ensure the wiper fluid contains anti-freeze

Pack an emergency kit

When driving in winter weather conditions, the last thing you want is to find yourself with a flat tire on a dark snowy road with no help on the way. 

Stocking your emergency kit with all the essential tools will keep your mind at ease and ensure you are ready for what lies ahead. Some of the key essentials to have in your winter car driving checklist include:

  • First aid kit

  • Jumper cables

  • Flashlight

  • Road flares

  • Spare tires

  • Map

  • Ice scraper

  • Shovel

  • Blanket/Warm clothes

  • Snow chain

  • Phone charge

Pack water and food supplies

If you are driving over a long distance, you should carry some water and food to last through the journey. These food supplies will come in handy when you get stuck on a snowy road, away from the highway or grocery store. Stocking food supplies such as energy bars, snacks, and energy drinks will keep you energized before help comes your way. 

Invest in a set of winter tires

When driving on snowy roads, you should make sure that the tires are in good shape. The last place you want to find yourself is in a ditch in the middle of the night. 

As the winter approaches, you should invest in a set of high-quality winter tires, which are designed to give you the best traction in snowy conditions. Winter tires are designed with soft a malleable rubber compound and large gaps in the tread patterns to give you the best drip even in freezing temperatures.

Maintain safe driving speed

While driving at a high speed in snowy roads is considered risky, driving slowly is also more dangerous. You should monitor the traffic and the road conditions to determine the ideal driving speed. 

Also, remember to observe the 3-4 second rule. You should stay at least 3 to 4 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you during regular weather conditions, and 6 to 8 seconds during winter weather conditions. Find the speed at which you feel comfortable driving, and ensure you control your speed as the traffic flows. 

Stay alert

As you drive in winter conditions, watch your surroundings to avoid distractions. Keep the radio off and your phone switched off. Avoid sudden stops or directions changes that may cause collisions with other vehicles or objects such as trees. Also, when driving near parks or ranches, drive slowly to avoid collisions with animals that are on the run. 

Watch out for bridges and ramps 

Bridges and ramps tend to stay frozen for long, and you should approach these features carefully. Watch out for black ice, and listen to the feel and sound of the road. Snowy roads produce a loud sound, and the noise goes silent as you move from snow to ice. Knowing the feel of the road can help you know how to approach a bridge, overpass, or ramp. 

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