Safe Winter Weather Driving 101
Tips for Safe Winter Weather Driving
Winter weather is just around the corner, creating driving challenges for much of the nation. Snow, ice, and slush create slippery roads, impair visibility and are responsible for 25% of all vehicle accidents. Remember these easy tips for safe winter weather driving.
Preparation is Key
Prepare for winter weather driving by checking your tires to see if it’s time to replace your tires, or get snow tires. Make sure brakes are in good condition as well. When roads are slick, a vehicle requires more time and distance to stop – a good set of brakes makes the difference between stopping or crashing into another vehicle. Check windshield wiper blades and refill windshield wiper fluid, and keep full through the season. Last, create a winter survival kit for your vehicle. Include: an ice scraper, snow shovel, sand or salt, a flashlight, extra blankets, snacks, and bottled water.
Driving in inclement weather requires more time and greater attention than driving under clear conditions. Roads are slippery, visibility may be obscured by falling snow, there are snow plows on the roads, and other drivers can be unpredictable. Keep these tips in mind while driving:
- Check the weather. Before heading out, check the weather forecast and road conditions. Determine if it would be safer to stay home and postpone your trip.
- Clean your car. Clear all snow and ice from all windows, lights, hood and roof. If you don’t, a block of snow can slide into your view while driving, or fly off onto other vehicles, impairing the driver’s view.
- Drive slowly. Speed limits are set for normal conditions. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Change speeds slowly and cautiously. Don’t suddenly speed up or slow down. Reaction times can be delayed.
- Stop early. Stopping your car requires more time and distance than under normal road conditions. Allow plenty of time and space to stop your vehicle.
- Keep your gas tank full. Keep your gas tank at least half full. If you are stuck in traffic or become stranded, a full gas tank will allow you some time to keep your engine running or turn the heater on.
- Keep your headlights on. Visibility can be greatly reduced. Do everything possible to be visible to other drivers.
If You Get Stranded
If your car breaks down, or you find yourself stuck, first make sure your vehicle is safely off the road (as much as possible). Call for help, and remain in your car until assistance arrives. If necessary, you can run your car’s heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning first by ensuring that the exhaust pipe is completely clear of snow, and crack windows to prevent any build-up. The extra blankets are also to help you stay warm.
Let us help you prepare for safe winter weather driving- contact us today for details on our rock salt products!