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10 Tips for Safe Driving This Winter

Snowstorms, slushy roads and black ice are just a few of the winter driving hazards you may come across this winter. Sometimes, you are faced with multiple driving hazards in a single trip! The dangers of winter driving can feel daunting, but the good news is that you can prepare. Through preparation and practice, you can lessen the stress that can come with driving your car in the snow.

Two cars in the snow

Here are 10 Snow Driving Tips

1. Take it slow

When roads are slick from snow or ice, drive slowly. Also, go easy on the gas and brake pedals in your car. Sudden acceleration or braking can cause your car to skid or fishtail. Slow and steady driving without sudden movements can be the best approach in these conditions. This is probably one of the most important snow driving tips.

2. Keep your distance

Add distance between you and the cars in front of you. This gives you more time to take action if you see a car sliding on ice in front of you, or someone suddenly slams on their brakes. You need more stopping distance on slick roads.

3. Check your tires

Keeping an eye on your tire pressure and making sure you have the appropriate tire tread depth for winter driving is crucial. You want to make sure you have traction when the snow starts to fall.

4. Prevent a dead battery

Dealing with a dead battery is not something you want to do on a cold winter day. This could leave you stranded. Did you know that your car battery can get weaker in colder weather? Know the health of your battery before winter hits! You use the WeatherTech Battery Charger to monitor the condition of your battery and charge your battery when it is not in use. You should also keep a pair of jumper cables in your trunk, should your car battery die. Then someone else should be able to help you jump-start your car.

5. Emergency winter kit

Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your trunk. There are many dangers of winter driving. Stocking up your car to prepare is a smart idea. There are many items you can include in your driving kit. Some items to consider include a blanket, shovel, ice scraper, extra set of clothes, first aid kit, flashlight, extra windshield wiper fluid and food/water.

6. Fuel up!

A good rule of thumb for winter driving is to keep your gas tank at least half full. It is helpful for the health of your fuel system, and should you get stuck in traffic anywhere due to a winter storm, you do not have to worry so much about running out of gas. For those who live in subzero climates, adding a fuel line antifreeze would be beneficial to prevent your fuel from gelling up.

7. Check your lights

Check your headlights, taillights and brake lights. Winter storms can create low visibility driving conditions or, even worse, white out conditions. Being visible becomes critical during these situations. Make sure your headlights, taillights and brake lights are all in working order. Always be sure to clear off any snow that has piled on them as well before you drive.

8. If you lose traction, don’t freak out.

When you learn how to drive a car in snow, one of the things to prepare for is what to do if you lose traction. It can be a very scary situation, but one that is important to be ready for in case it happens to you. To correct a front wheel skid, you should take your foot off the brake, turn the wheel gently to where you want to go, and ease into the accelerator so that the front wheels can pull the car forward to regain traction. To correct a rear wheel skid, take your foot off the accelerator and slightly turn your wheel in the direction your rear-end is fishtailing toward until you gain complete traction back.

9. Good wipers + Plenty of windshield washer fluid = Clean windshield.

Different windshield wiper fluids have different freezing points. If you live somewhere that gets cold every winter, make sure you are using one that won’t freeze on you when you need it the most. Salt, snow and ice can all make a mess of your windshield. You want to make sure your wiper blades and washer fluid are ready to continually clear away the mess so you have the best visibility possible while you drive.

10. Choose caution instead of overconfidence.

When you’re on the road, remind yourself that you are surrounded by other drivers of various winter driving experience levels. While roads may look okay to you, having to suddenly stop could make you realize that the roads are worse than you anticipated. It is safer for everyone if you drive cautiously and make smart driving decisions on the road this winter.

What other snow driving tips do you have to share? Head to our Facebook page and share your best winter driving tips.

Man pushing car in the snow

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