Winter is a tricky time of the year for driving. There’s a lot keep in mind when snow and ice enter the driving equation, but while it may seem overwhelming, there are a number of things you can do to make the driving safer.
1) Avoid It – The best tip that we can give you about driving in wintery weather is to avoid it whenever possible! Just think about this, when the driving is poor, the probability that you may have an accident goes up substantually. That doesn’t mean you WILL have an accident, it just means the probabily is higher. So, you should ask yourself, why tempt fate? If its not absolutely necessary to be out on the roads, stay in!
2) Slow Down – The easiest thing to do when behind the wheel in winter is to slow down. This will necessitate allowing extra time to get where you’re going, but that’s a lot better than getting into a collision.
3) Keep Lights On – Even if it’s the middle of the day, winter weather has a way of making things white out. Leaving your lights on is a good way to ensure that others can see you.
4) Extra Distance – Speaking of not hitting anyone, you should keep in mind that when its slippery, it’s harder to stop when in traffic. It’s a good idea to leave at least up to three car lengths between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you to allow more room for braking.
5) Don’t Panic – Should you lose control of your car, don’t panic, there are a couple things you can do to try and get control back. First, take your foot off the gas. Next, turn the wheel the way you want to go, usually the opposite way you’re sliding in. Then apply the brakes. If they’re anti-lock brakes apply steady pressure, if not gently pump them repeatedly until you slow down and start to regain control.
There’s more you can do before you even get on the road though, which mostly comes down to being prepared. As suggested by the Service Department at Pinckney Chrysler of Pinckney, MI, some of these preparations include keeping your tires inflated, keeping your gas tank at least half full to keep the gas line from freezing, watch weather reports so you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be driving through, make sure you have the number of AAA or another nearby tow service, and keep supplies in the car like a spare tire, wheel wrench, a jack, a shovel, jumper cables, salt or cat litter to give tires something to grip, a first aid kit, and extra items to help keep warm like blankets, mittens, hats, and socks.