Driving Tips for Wintry Weather Conditions

Driving Tips for Wintry Weather ConditionsThere are certain precautions drivers should take, depending on the season and conditions. Winter is a particularly dangerous time on the roads and taking the initiative to prepare for its arrival may keep you from being stranded on the side of the road in inclement weather. Keep your family and yourself safe this winter by following these tips for winter driving.

The motto, ‘Be Prepared’, comes to mind when winterizing your vehicle well before winter strikes. Schedule maintenance for the vehicle, checking tire treads and pressure, battery, radiator, oil, lights, belts and hoses, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster and ignition system. Check you wiper blades for tears in the blade or streaking when using. Make sure your washer solvent is full with a winter mix and carry extra in the trunk.

Then be sure to stay alert, slow down and stay in control when driving conditions deteriorate. Rain, snow and ice affect the breaking distance of a vehicle and limit a driver’s ability to come to a safe stop because tires have less traction. That is why increasing following distances and reduced speeds are suggested when traveling slippery winter roads.

The condition of the tread on tires has a big effect on a vehicles ability to safely travel on snowy roadways. If in doubt, get new tires. If your area gets a lot of snow on a regular basis, investing in high end winter tires or chains is advisable.

Also be sure that your tire pressure is correct, as under-inflated tires can slow the steering system. Keep in mind that for every ten degree drop in temperature a tire’s air pressure lowers by one to two PSI, making it necessary to frequently check tire pressure during cold weather.

Black ice is another big concern during the wintery conditions. Be especially cautious at night where spots that might have begun to melt earlier in the day refreeze. We should also note that watching for slippery spots on bridges even though the roads might be clear is another good strategy.

Don’t begin driving until all windows, side mirrors and windshields are clear of snow and ice. Warm up the vehicle so that the defroster is in optimal working order. If visibility becomes bad due to heavy rains, sleet or snow, pull to a safe location and wait until conditions improve.

Perhaps the best advice we can give is to monitor road conditions BEFORE getting behind the wheel. If your area is under a state of emergency, think twice before you move the vehicle. So many drivers venture out when road conditions are so bad and end up having to be rescued, hindering the snow plows, sand and salt trucks from getting the roadways clear.

Follow these tips and be safe out there!


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