Today, 2 inches of snow caused 6 states in the USA to declare a State of Emergency. Locally the weather forecaster apologised that we were only getting 2 inches – not enough for a ski resort. Wherever you live, you need to be ready for the weather, so follow these tips!
Depending on where you live driving can be challenging during the winter months. Not only do you have to worry about your own driving habits, but avoid others on the road at the same time, manoeuvring through sticky situations. No matter if you have four wheel drive or not, you should be cautious on the roads during snowy or icy conditions, especially during rush hour. Driving in poor weather conditions can be stressful, but it can be made more manageable through proper planning.
Many people just haven’t learned the proper techniques for driving in the snow. Learn these now to prevent accidents in the future. It is better to have experience yet be cautious in these situations. Reckless driving will get you nowhere fast. Follow these tips for driving in the snow to ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you.
This should be obvious to most people, but your tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. This is what will stop you from getting in sticky situations, and help your car stay on the road. Snow offers a completely different experience when it comes to driving. If there is snow on the roads, it is more important than ever to have good traction. Make sure your tires are new enough that the tread hasn’t completely worn off.
Even brand new ultra-high-performance tires will have a hard time running in the snow. Either invest in all-terrain tires that will function better in the snow, or snow tires designed specifically for this time of the year. If you live in an area that is prone to an excessive amount of snowfall, consider investing in two pairs of tire, snow tires for winter and normal tires for summer. You will see advantages the first time you drive in the snow.
Don’t get lazy scraping off the windshield while leaving to work in the morning, even if you are late. Only removing the snow and ice from the driver’s side is extremely dangerous, and can result in serious accidents. Make sure before leaving that your windshield and back window are properly wiped off. You should also wipe off the side windows and mirrors, anything that you may need to see out of over the course of the drive.
Your windshield wipers are critical while driving during a rain or snow storm. Before the worst of a storm hits, make sure your wipers are functioning properly. This will give you the protection you need against bad weather. To help the ice on the roads melt, salt is often placed on all major roads. Although this is helpful for control of the vehicle, it can make it difficult to see. To prevent this from ruining your vision out your windshield, make sure you have windshield wiper fluid, one that is rated to take on the cold of winter.
During the cold of winter, your windows can fog up while driving, making it impossible to see out the front. Take full advantage of the defrost function on your air conditioner. This will make it much easier to see even in the coldest conditions, leaving you open to watch the roads.
Unless your vehicle is fairly new, it is necessary to have safety done at least once a year when registering. Although it is done here, it is important to check the essential functions of your car before winter driving as well.
Check the lights of your car. During a snow storm, these may be the only thing allowing other vehicles to see where your car is on the road. Be sure before setting out check that not only these work, but that they aren’t obscured because of snow. Have your breaks checked before driving to be sure they are working efficiently as well.
One of the worst problems that can come with winter driving is trying to stop in the worst of conditions. Slamming on your brakes is one of the worst possible things you could do. Those who drive a manual car understand the importance of down shifting.
Even if you don’t have a stick shift vehicle, you can still down shift while driving in bad conditions to help you slow down. Practice this before the worst of the weather hits so you can get a good feel for the road. This can help prevent you from sliding in terrible conditions. Be especially cautious on black ice, going slower than usual.
Driving during the winter season can be stressful, but there are ways to keep safe. Don’t make poor driving decisions, but rather stick to those that will keep your vehicle running smoothly. By taking the proper steps for planning, and being smart on the road, you will remain calm and stress free, getting to your destinations safe and on time.
Our guest author Cassie Costner writes for Shine Collision Repair, an auto body repair company in Salt Lake City. She has written on the most effective ways to keep your car clear from damage, and drive safe in all weather conditions.