The three key elements to safe winter driving is stay alert, slow down and stay in control. To prepare for winter weather, schedule a maintenance check-up for your vehicle to make sure everything is in working condition. Always have a sufficient amount of gas in your tank to avoid being stuck in a remote area with snow or ice.
Snowy and icy conditions affect the braking distance of any vehicle. To stop safely, the vehicle’s wheels must maintain traction by remaining on contact with the road surface. The key tips for handling slippery winter roads is slower speeds, slower stops and turns, and increased following distances.
For every 10 degrees the temperature drops outside, the air pressure in your tires goes down. Check your tire pressure frequently in cold weather to keep them properly inflated at all times.
Be cautious of black ice in shady and cooler areas on the road. Unlike snow, black ice can be especially dangerous because you won’t necessarily see it on the road. When the temperatures are below freezing, make sure to slow down and be cautious when turning and stopping.
Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires in the winter in preparation for snow and ice.
Don’t start driving until your vehicle is fully defrosted and clean so you can see where you are going. Keep your lights on for safety when driving in snow and ice.
If you are traveling somewhere new, make sure to check for road closures and have directions ready accessible in case you end up in an area with no cell service or GPS signal.