Winter brings a unique set of driving challenges - snow, icy roads, and poor visibility that can make for a hazardous situation. But, with the right winter driving tips and precautions, you can protect yourself and others on the road and get where you need to go safely.
That's why we've put together these seven winter driving tips to keep in mind -so you can always stay safe in wintry weather.
1. Increase following distance
Winter weather can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially when you're behind the wheel. One important safety tip to remember is to increase your following distance while driving in these conditions. This means keeping a greater distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Why is this important? First and foremost, it can give you more time to react if something unexpected happens on the road. Maybe the car in front of you suddenly hits a patch of ice or snow and begins to swerve. With a larger following distance, you'll have more time to hit the brakes and avoid a collision.
2. Reduce speed on icy roads
One of the most crucial factors for staying safe on the road during the winter is to reduce your speed on icy roads. While it may be tempting to put the pedal to the metal and speed down the slick roads, this can lead to disaster.
Slowing down not only reduces your chances of losing control of your vehicle but gives you more time to react to any surprises that come your way. So, next time you're on the road during winter conditions, remember to take it slow and steady, and arrive at your destination safely.
3. Avoid sudden movements
While it may be tempting to swerve or slam on the brakes in response to slippery roads, these reactions can actually make things worse. Abrupt movements can cause your car to lose traction and spin out of control, putting both you and other drivers on the road at risk.
Instead, it's best to take things slowly and steadily, giving yourself plenty of time to react and adjust to changing conditions. Whether that means braking gently or turning the wheel gradually, a cautious approach can help you stay safe and in control when it matters most.
If you'd like to learn more about how to safely navigate icy roads when you're behind the wheel, check out this guide on Avian Law Group.
4. Use headlights when visibility is low
Winter weather can often lead to poor visibility, whether it's due to strong winds, snowfall, or fog. To improve your vision and increase safety on the roads when conditions are less than ideal, make sure you always have your headlights turned on. This will not only help you better see any obstacles ahead but also allow other drivers to spot your vehicle.
5. Check tire treads regularly
Tire treads provide an important layer of grip between your car and the road, helping you stay in control when driving through slippery conditions. That's why it's essential to check your tire treads regularly during the winter months, as worn-down tires can greatly reduce traction and make it more difficult to drive safely.
If you notice that your treads are looking a bit thin, consider investing in new tires, winter tires, or tire chains to ensure you get the grip and control you need on the road.
6. Have emergency items ready in your car
You should also have items like blankets, extra warm clothes and non-perishable snacks in your car in case of an emergency situation where you may need them. It's also a good idea to carry items such as kitty litter or sand with you so that you can get traction if your car is stuck in snow or ice.
Additionally, make sure you always have an emergency kit stored in your trunk that includes basic supplies like jumper cables, first aid materials, and emergency flares so that you're prepared for any situation.
7. Equip yourself with an ice scraper & brush
To ensure that your car is ready for winter weather, make sure you equip yourself with an ice scraper and brush. This will come in handy when clearing frost and snow from your windshield so that you can have a clear view of the road.
You may also need to use a brush to wipe away any snow or ice buildup on the car's exterior, which can help prevent your vehicle from slipping and sliding on the road.
Winter weather can be a tricky time to be on the road, but with the right preparations, you can stay safe and make sure your car is winter-ready. Be sure to follow the tips above to keep yourself and other drivers on the roads safe during icy conditions.