Driving during the winter months can be intimidating and scary sometimes. However, if prepared and properly equipped, this daunting and sometimes scary task can be accomplished safely and with ease. To help in doing so, here are 5 quick tips to help with driving in the winter.
- Have proper traction tires or some form of chains designed to help provide traction.
Having the proper winter or all season traction tires are preferred for winter driving. They have more grip and deeper tread, which help to prevent sliding on icy and snow-covered roads. However, these tires can be expensive, so a cheaper option is to purchase and have tire chains available. These chains wrap around your tire and provide the needed traction to drive through severe snow and ice.
- Make sure all windows, front lights and brake lights are clear of ice and frost to allow for optimal visibility.
Use a deicer, scraper or even a simple plastic card; it is important to scrape off as much ice and snow as possible from all windows and exterior car lights. Clearing off exterior lights helps to ensure other vehicles can either see you coming or see you braking.
- Stop and go at safe speeds and appropriate spacing between vehicles.
It is important to realize that stopping and accelerating in winter is very different than in other seasons. Stopping too fast or accelerating too quickly without proper spacing between cars, even when being the only one on the road, can result in sliding, spinning out, breaks locking up and accidents.
- Limit or avoid driving at night.
There is already low visibility at night; the winter decreases this visibility even more. The temperatures are also lower at night allowing for more ice to be present and allows for more snowfall.
- Keep an emergency kit in car.
In case something does happen while you are driving in the winter it is ideal to have an emergency kit prepared in your car at all times. Some good items to have stored are: emergency blanket, non-perishable foods, warm clothing, water, hand warmers, flashlight, first aid kit and flares.