We want to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season! With that in mind, here a few winter driving safety tips to keep in mind to help keep this holiday season happy:
General Winter Driving Tips
General Winter Driving Tips
- Watch the weather. Stay up to date on changing weather and traffic reports in order to anticipate and avoid stormy roadways. Smartphones and tablets make this easy with real-time wireless weather
- Get Your Vehicle Ready For Winter. Make sure to check your vehicle battery and all engine fluids are at proper levels. It's also a good idea to keep tires at proper inflation. Another major part of maintenance is directly related to winter: drivers should take care to remove troublesome ice from the windshield and windows, and big drifts of snow from the hood and cabin top, in order to prevent problems with visibility.
- Pack A Winter Emergency Kit. In the event that you do have to pull over during a major storm or find yourself with a broken-down vehicle, be prepared with a winter emergency kit. Include items like this: a flashlight and batteries, hand-warmers, blankets, drinking water, shovel and ice scraper,
jumper cables, and standalone emergency lights or flares.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is
the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get
moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It
takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating,
stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself
time to maneuver by driving slowly.
- The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should
be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will
provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock 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.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of
inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to
get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling
until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don't accelerate up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts
your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the
hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the
hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
- Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving
up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you
take on the hill.
- Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive
well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have
somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
Following these simple tips can help this holiday season stay safe and happy.