Driving In Winter Weather 101

We got pretty lucky this year with the weather, which was fairly mild even into January. My family remarked on Christmas that the weather made it seem more like Easter than Christmas. We actually had the windows open in my aunt’s house! But of course, we could not escape the New England winter weather forever! There has been and will continue to be some cold and snowy days. Poor weather conditions can increase the risk for accidents, which no one wants to be a part of. In this article, I will provide some basic tips for safe driving during the winter months. This can keep you and other people on the road safe.

Preparing Your Car For The Winter Weather

One of the best ways to avoid an accident is by being proactive with your car. Make sure that it is fit to drive in winter conditions by:

  • Making sure that your tires have enough air in them.
  • Keeping radial tires separate from regular tires.
  • Keeping at least half a tank of gas in your car to avoid having the gas line freeze.
  • Getting your brakes checked to make sure that they are working.
  • Checking your windshield wipers to make sure that they are effective.
  • Testing your defogger before you drive.
  • Keeping a shovel and snow scraper in your car at all times.

Driving In Bad Weather

Living in the Northeast, we’ve all had to drive in the snow at one point or another. For some, this is a natural event. For others, it can be nerve wracking. Here are some basic tips to keep you safe on the roads if you have to drive in snow, ice, slush, or hail.

  • If possible, avoid driving. You don’t want to rush out in a bad blizzard if you don’t have to. If you can stay home, consider this option, at least until the roads are clear and salt has been put down.
  • Shovel out your car completely. If you have to drive in snowy weather, make sure that you can get out of your driveway with ease. The last thing that you want to do is get stuck on a pile of snow or ice because you did not clear it away well enough!
  • Drive slow. Whether you are accelerating, decelerating, or driving at a constant rate, make sure that you are going slow. This will make sure that your tires can catch on the ground and prevent accidents. It will also prevent your car from sliding on black ice.
  • Follow other vehicle with precaution. Keeping even more space between your car and the vehicle in front of you than normal. If your car does end up sliding as you try to decelerate, proper space between you and another car can prevent an accident.
  • Give yourself time to stop. Just as with everything else, braking takes more time in bad weather. Prepare for this and start braking sooner than you usually do.
  • Stay focused on the road. Prepare for anything to happen during or after a snowstorm. Other drivers may have difficulty controlling their vehicles. Even if you feel confident in your driving abilities, you need to remain alert. Don’t talk on your phone or take your eyes off of the road.

Driving in winter weather can be frustrating and dangerous. You can avoid an accident by following these tips.

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