Ideas to Keep Yourself Safe When Driving in the Winter
Driving in the winter presents difficulties, regardless of whether there is an Arctic storm moving through the United States or a few snowflakes are beginning to fall on the road. It’s not easy to drive in cold, rainy, and slick weather, so this holiday season, we want to make sure you stay safe.
Many risks need to be avoided, including snowy roads and poor sight. However, you can drive safely and prevent accidents during the winter with the appropriate planning and strategies.
Some safe driving advice for the winter months
PRIOR TO LEAVING YOUR HOUSE, PLAN YOUR TRIPS
Before you leave on a journey, check the road conditions and weather predictions. If there is uncertainty in the weather forecast, wait through the storm. If you must travel, let someone know your itinerary and route before you depart.
Try to avoid driving during severe weather and make a travel strategy in advance. If you must drive in inclement weather, give yourself more time to get there and drive slowly.
RELAX AND GIVE IT YOUR ALL
Driving gently is the most important rule while operating a vehicle on any snow-covered road. Black ice is hazardous because it is invisible, and you should always assume that it may be present on every road you drive on.
When driving on snow or ice in the winter, you should always reduce your speed to compensate for the decreased traction. You should slow down and give other cars plenty of room to maneuver since winter roads can be treacherous and slick. This will give you more time to respond to any possible threats and, should the need arise, to stop safely.
Additionally, remember not to stop when driving uphill. Additionally, parking on slopes should be avoided if possible. This may result in you losing control of your automobile and it sliding downhill in ice weather.
ENSURE THAT YOUR CAR IS WELL-MAINTAINED
Ensure that your car is in operating order before the winter months arrive. This entails examining the fluid levels, brakes, tires, and windshield wipers. On slick roads, well-inflated and treaded tires will offer more traction, and properly maintained brakes will guarantee that you can stop safely.
To see clearly through the snow and sleet, check that your windshield wipers are in good working order and refill your wiper fluid. Additionally, if your car has cruise control, you should not use it.
Other auto repair advice is as follows:
AIM TO MONITOR TIRE PRESSURE
The air in your tires constricts when the temperature lowers, lowering tire pressure. If your tires already have low air pressure, the chilly weather may exacerbate the issue. However, if your tires are overinflated, the temperature drop may push the tire pressure above the advised limit.
It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure once a month or more, especially before long travels, and to make sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s suggested level for your car.
VERIFY FLUIDS AND STORE
Make sure all of your car’s fluids are filled to the recommended levels according to the manufacturer before the harsh winter months arrive. Ensuring your washer fluid and coolant are weather-resistant is extremely crucial.
Maintain a full gas tank.
Small amounts of gas can freeze in the gas tank or in the gas lines, damaging the vehicle and rendering it unusable. Maintain a full gas tank during the winter months as much as feasible.
Examine your car’s battery to ensure it operates correctly.
It is imperative that drivers pay particular attention to their automobile batteries during the cold months. It could be time to change your battery if it is older than three years. An outdated automobile battery may experience increased strain in cold weather, increasing the likelihood that it will fail.
MAKE USE OF YOUR HEADLIGHTS, WITHIN THE DAY.
To make yourself and other cars on the road more visible, turn on your headlights. This is crucial in the event of a snowfall or other low-visibility conditions.
Ensure that you maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
Keep a safe distance from other cars to give yourself more time to brake. When descending a slope in a car with a manual gearbox, you might want to think about slipping into a lower gear to aid with your braking.
Increasing your following distance to eight or ten seconds from the car in front of you is a good rule of thumb.
AVOID RISK WHEN BRAKING.
Control your brakes. Use the ball of your foot to apply strong, consistent pressure to the brake pedal while keeping your heel on the ground, regardless of whether your vehicle has antilock brakes or not.
To prevent skidding, carefully apply the brakes (the YouTube video we included is an excellent resource). In the event that you do begin to skid, release the brake and turn the car in the direction you want the front to travel.
Steer clear of abrupt movements and rapid twists, as these can cause your car to lose traction. To avoid having to overcorrect to stay in your lane when your wheels regain traction, steer in the direction of a skid.
Avoid parking under frozen limbs.
It’s typical to observe a lot of snow and ice forming on tree limbs throughout the winter, which can be dangerous when parking. Parking beneath an icy branch increases the risk of snow or ice falling on your car and perhaps hurting you or other people.
It is advisable to park indoors or in a clear place rather than under a tree to reduce this risk. If you have to park beneath a tree, make sure you can see clearly and reduce the likelihood of snow or ice falling onto your windshield while driving by taking the time to remove it from your car.
GET READY FOR ANY IMPENDENCE
In case you become stuck, keep a first aid kit, blankets, warm clothes, a torch, and other necessities in your car. In case you need to make an emergency call, make sure your phone is fully charged and carry a portable charger with you.
Regardless of the driving conditions, you can contribute to a safe and easy winter by heeding these guidelines. Always remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry, so this winter, drive carefully and slowly.
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