Tips for Safe Winter Driving
Many of our holiday plans include travel, and whether you go a short distance or several miles away it’s important to be sure you are prepared. Here’s a few tips for safe winter driving:
– Keep a Cold Weather Supply Kit – this includes a fully charged cell phone, warm blankets, extra hats and gloves, flashlight with extra batteries and non-perishable snacks like trail mix, granola bars and bottled water.
– Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
– If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy or snowy weather.
– Do not use your cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
– Always look and steer where you want to go.
– Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice and mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
– Be sure wiper blades are in good condition & windshield washer fluid is kept full.
– Be sure tires are in good condition and at proper inflation for best handling in slippery conditions.
– Have battery tested, to avoid a no start condition in bad weather.
– Have cooling system checked for sufficient anti-freeze protection.
– Do not warm vehicle up by running in a closed garage.
– Clean snow off the entire vehicle, to clear your visibility and make your vehicles light visible to other drivers.
– Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning. Give yourself extra time to maneuver.
– Know your brakes. Whether you have anti-lock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Above all else, check the road conditions and weather forecast. It’s always better to plan ahead and arrive safely.