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Are you a frequent driver? During winter, driving on snow can be frightening and risky. Statistics reveal that thousands of road accidents that occur every year happen during winter. You should, therefore, be careful while driving. Below are some useful winter driving tips that you should use. Read on!
Whether you intend to use your vehicle for the daily commute to work or go for a long trip, you should never skip servicing it. You need to ensure that your vehicle is in the best condition before driving it. A mechanic can help you maintain the car accordingly. It should be properly checked for things such as leaks. If some parts need replacements or repairs, do not ignore them since they can lead to severe problems in the future. Compare quotes from different suppliers for you to find the best prices for replacement parts.
Each car is unique. Vehicles perform differently, especially when you are driving under wet roads. Before you start operating during the harsh weather condition, you should spend enough time understanding your car. Clean any dirt or snow on different parts of the vehicle, such as tail lights and windows. You can also practice how to drive on icy roads during your free time. Make use of a parking lot that does not have any other cars nearby to practice. Look at the manual of your car and study each feature carefully. Test the performance of the features on slippery conditions.
Proper preparation can boost your safety while driving on snow. You should not hurry to take off before stocking the car accordingly. Ensure you bring along all the items that can handle driver-related tasks during winter. For instance, you may need specific supplies for emergencies. Bring along a snow shovel and a kitty litter than you can use if the car gets stuck in the snow. Do not forget to carry a flashlight and warning devices like flares. You will need to clean your windshield from time to time. If you are traveling for long, a blanket can protect you from the cold.
You can also keep yourself safe by having a clear picture of your route and destination. Before you start driving, confirm the severity of the weather and determine if it is safe to proceed or postpone. You should also be familiar with the road conditions and find out if the route you will be taking has traffic issues. Avoid rushing while driving and ensure you leave early enough so that you don’t go beyond speed limits. Known the directions well by using maps before you start the journey. Using a GPS can prevent you from getting lost. Inform your loved ones when you expect to arrive at your destination.
Even after the vehicle has been serviced, you need to confirm that everything is in order before you start driving during the winter. For instance, ensure that the car’s battery can withstand winter driving. Inspect the charging system and bring along gasoline with you if you drive a hybrid-electric vehicle. Your lights should also be working efficiently. The car should also have an efficient coolant, and the windshield wipers should be working well. If you stay in an area with lots of ice, you should install heavy-duty wipers in your car. Use snow tires and always inspect them before driving.
Whether you prefer driving alone or in the company of others, wearing seatbelts is compulsory. These can save your life in an accident. If you are traveling with your family, let the young ones remain at the back of the seat and adjust their seatbelts accordingly. The booster and car seats should be appropriately installed before driving during the cold weather. Avoid leaving young ones unattended to around the car since they tend to be quite curious. Lock the vehicle when you are outside and keep the keys away from children before you start the journey.
The lack of focusing on the road can lead to severe issues. When driving in harsh weather conditions, you should avoid distractions and always focus on the road. If you are traveling for hours, include resting time in your schedule so that you can avoid driving while fatigued. Get time to eat and even sleep. Bringing a Co-driver on your journey can help you rest as you exchange seats once in a while. Ensure that you fill the gas tank before embarking on a trip. If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, you may require additional fuel than you expected.
Driving rules exist for a reason and breaking them puts your life in danger. Though law enforcers try to emphasize on this, drivers still practice risky behaviors. Using your phone while on the road can make you miss something on the road. If you tend to do this, you need to invest in HUD devices that can help you continue receiving calls without taking your eyes off the road. Stick to the speed limits and slow down if the weather condition gets worse. Drive while sober since alcohol can impair your perception and motor skills. Abiding by the driving rules.
Black ice is the thin layer of ice that appears shiny over a road. You have to be cautious on the road for you to spot black ice. If you encounter it, stay calm and avoid slamming the brakes or adjusting the steering. Such actions can worsen the condition. Let your car slow down as you take your foot from the accelerator. Find a non-icy area on the road for you to drive on. This will enable the car to slow down and prevent slipping. If you don’t have control, trying pumping the brakes.
If you come across a snowplow while on the road, you should avoid traveling beside it. Snowplows tend to make wide turns and move slowly. You need to navigate through them so that you don’t get frustrated trying to move ahead. If you find yourself in a situation where your car is behind a snowplow, be careful when passing. You can follow it from a distance, but you should avoid stopping closely. The field of vision of a snowplow operator is limited. The materials that are used to remove snow from the road can also hit your car.
The best winter driving tip is to plan ahead! Leaving 15 minutes early can save your life when the roads are icy. We have all seen people get into a big hurry and not have enough time to react to the events happening in front of them.
This is worse in winter weather you need more time to stop and more time to make sure the surrounding traffic is stopping.
Tip number 2 make sure your car is ready for winter… Tires, defrost, washer fluid, all things that need to me checked before the big storm. Making sure your car or truck is ready for winter will not only make it less stressful when it does snow. It will keep you safe!
Driving in a blizzard, on black ice, and when the snowfall is heaviest makes most drivers nervous. Having the right equipment helps a great deal. For example, very few drivers feel safe in winter weather if their tires aren’t in good shape.
Bald tires make stopping and controlling the vehicle more difficult than necessary. Have your tires checked before you try to drive through a storm. They should be all-season tires with a tread depth of at least 6/32nds of an inch.
Unfortunately, the only thing that makes winter driving easier and safer is experience. If possible, spend time on the road when there’s snow on the ground but the roads aren’t completely covered. Get used to how it feels to slow down and stop in slick conditions.
Avoid highways and areas with congested traffic if possible when you are just starting out. Using a GPS app like Ways can help you stay on the lesser-traveled roads.
Over time, you will get comfortable driving during the coldest months. Just remember to go slow and give yourself the extra room when it’s time to slow down and stop.
Make sure you accelerate and decelerate slowly, aggressive acceleration and braking are one of the primary causes of crashes in icy conditions as the aggressive driving will cause you to skid and potentially crash on snow or icey surfaces even if you have a 4 wheel drive with winter ready tires!
You should also increase the distance between you and the car in front, in frosty conditions your braking distance will increase, so keep a safe driving distance of at least 7 seconds which will give you plenty of time to react and slow your car down if an incident occurs.
First and foremost, one of the most important winter driving tip is to get yourself a good set of winter tires. Always bet on quality and equip your vehicle with 4 identical tires. Make sure to check the air pressure at least once a month and I suggest inflating your tires 2-3 psi lower than in the summer. Softer tires simply tend to perform better on ice.
To become a real pro at winter driving, learn to always anticipate what’s coming ahead of you. The braking distance required to bring your car to a halt can double on an icy road. Be prudent and always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front.
The use of the cruise control is also not recommended on slippery or wet roads, because your car could suddenly accelerate if the tires were to lose their grips on the pavement.
Then, if your car starts slipping anyway, keep your calm, avoid sudden maneuvers, turn the steering wheel to where you want to go and do not touch the brakes. Wait for the car to be aligned with the road again and slowly press the gas pedal as soon as the tires seem to have better grip.
No winter driving tips is as valuable as this one: Drive safe! It’s always better to arrive late to your final destination but still safe and sound!
Takeo it slow, regardless if you’re driving on a local street or highway. What’s that extra 10 minutes going to do for you and is it worth causing an accident? Of course not, so the first thing you need to do is not worry about the speedometer and avoid any unnecessary moves (such as lane changes) unless you have no other choice.
Another good tip is to drive in the middle lane if the road you are using has three lanes. That is the one most traveled and the snow/sleet will be not as prevalent there. The far left or right lanes seem to retain the packed snow and that can be a spot that can cause a spin out.
Having good tyres specifically winter ice tyres
Make sure travel on roads that are salted
Don’t drive during bad weather with poor visibility
Layer up because it might be cold
Ensure you have heating
1) Use snow tyres
2) Ensure to use winter approved engine oil to prevent engine oil freezing
3) Drive according to speed limit during winter
Oil Change: If you are close to an oil change interval, go ahead and have it done. Remember that your engine may require the oil be changed to a thinner viscosity to combat the freezing temperatures. Your owner’s manual will let you know the best viscosity of oil to be used during the winter months.
There are some extra accessories and helpful items that make dealing with the winter months much more manageable. Consider these:
Fuel: Keep your car’s gas tank as close to full as often as you can. The reason? Alternating cold and hot weather can cause condensation to form on the walls of a near-empty tank. This condensation will then pool at the bottom of your gas tank and eventually get sucked into the gas line. Then when the temperatures sink, guess what? Yup, frozen gas lines. It’s recommended to keep your needle no lower than a quarter- to a half-tank empty for the length of the winter.
Emergency Kit: It’s always good to have an emergency kit handy wherever you are, but winter requires some extra supplies. For example, items such as a snow brush, scraper, kitty litter and a shovel can help you get out of deep snow. Just in case of an emergency, its good to have a blanket or two and some gloves. A flashlight with fresh batteries is good to have too.
When driving in heavy rain, snow or fog back off the car in front of you.
Most motoring advice says to count 2 seconds between yourself and the car in front, but in bad weather, extend this to 3 seconds.
It may feel like they are driving really slowly, but their taillights ahead make it far easier for you to see what is coming up. They have to peer through the gloom to see the road, hence the difference in speed.
So keep a much larger gap than usual as this will minimize the glare from your lights, making it easier for them to navigate.
This will also give you more room to brake and maneuver if they lose control or hit something, making it safer for you too.