Winter driving tips are super important for so many areas of the world. It’s that time of year. The weather is frigid, the snow is falling, and along with all of that, the ice is here. Traveling in winter is about staying safe and protected from all of these things – ice, snow, and cold. These winter driving tips will help you get where you’re going and get there safe.
Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe
In my opinion, one of the biggest contributors to winter accidents is that people forget that you need to approach driving differently in the winter time. The cold, snow, and ice all present their own unique challenges to drivers and staying safe, and if you don’t respect these factors, you could be in for a dangerous situation. With that being said, lets take a look at how to stay safe in our vehicles this winter.
General Winter Driving Tips
There are some things to remember on a general level when driving in the winter months. These overall safety rules will help you stay safe as you prepare to hit the road and on the road itself.
- Never run your car to heat it up in an enclosed space like the garage.
- Be sure you tires are properly inflated. (I just took mine in because they were registering low and we are driving a lot over the winter.)
- Keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Avoid using the parking break in extremely cold weather.
- NEVER use cruise control in winter weather conditions.
- Look and steer where you want to go.
- Always wear your seat belt. (If you don’t already know this then I can’t help you.)
Long Distance Winter Driving Tips
- Plan around the weather. Watch weather reports, and delay trips if the weather looks too bad.
- Always make sure family and friends know where you’re going and the route you’re taking.
- Have a complete inspection done on your car before taking any trip.
- Keep a cell phone, blankets, hats, food, water, and any necessary medications in the vehicle in case of being stranded.
- Stay with your vehicle if you get stuck. Your car or truck offers shelter and warmth. It also makes it easier for rescuers to find you.
- If you become stuck, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna to signal distress. Keep your dome light on at night if possible to make it easier to locate you.
- Always be sure that no ice, mud, or snow is clogging the exhaust. A clogged exhaust can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your vehicle’s passenger area.
- If you become stuck, run the engine just long enough to warm the interior and then turn off the engine. This keeps you warm while conserving gas.
Winter Driving Tips for the Snow
- Go slow. Accelerating and decelerating slowly gives you better traction and more control. This applies to steering, as well.
- Increase normal following length of 3 to 4 seconds to 8 to 10 seconds to allow plenty of stopping time.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. This ties directly into going slow. For example, begin coasting well before a stop light in the hopes of it changing to green before you have to come to a complete stop.
- Don’t power up hills. Adding more gas only increases the chances of skidding. Instead build up a bit – A BIT – of speed before the hill and allow that extra speed to carry you up the hill.
- NEVER stop while going up a hill unless absolutely necessary. In slick conditions, this can lead to getting stuck.
- Perhaps the biggest of all winter driving tips. If you don’t have to drive, don’t. Stay home and stay safe.
Winter Driving Tips to Keep You and Yours Safe
The above winter driving tips can help keep you and yours safe during the cold, slick winter months. Stay home if you can. If you can’t, follow these winter driving tips to help you get where you need to go and get there safe and sound.