Winter Driving Tips

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter is upon us and with it come a new set of driving challenges. Winter driving requires a considerable amount of care from drivers, especially when cold temperatures and snow are involved. To stay safe on the roads this winter consider the list of tips below to help your winter driving.

  •  One of the keys to winter driving is not to lose traction. Gentle turns, acceleration and breaking will avoid loss of traction with the road.

  • Consider buying winter tires. Winter tires are specifically designed to deal with winter conditions and will help increase the control of your car in icy and winter conditions.

  • Make sure you have clear visibility in all directions. Frost and snow should be removed from windows and side mirrors before driving.

  • Be sure your washer fluid is full of winter-grade washer fluid, and insure you have an extra bottle in your trunk. Also consider purchasing winter wiper blades that won’t clog, freeze and lose contact with your windshield.

  • If you drive a truck, add weight to the back of your truck by putting sand bags, cinder blocks, or weights over the back wheels.

  • Carry a plastic bottle of sand in the trunk for traction when caught in ice ruts.

  • Intersections can be especially dangerous after a light snowfall or freezing rain. A good practice is to stop a full car length behind the car in front of you and then creep up to close the gap.

  • What many people do not know is the use of anti-lock braking systems (ABS) requires a different technique of braking. Pumping the brakes on slippery surfaces can nullify the braking technology built into ABS systems. ABS requires hard braking to permit the system to do the intermittent brake release which prevents wheel lock-up and permits steering to be maintained.

  • In winter, as in summer, driving defensively is a good way to protect yourself on the road. Keep an adequate distance between your car and the one in front. A two to three second interval between the time the car in front of you passes a fixed object until you reach the same object will give you a safe distance.