Winter Driving Tips

So the winter season is right around the corner. It is one of the most challenging times of year to drive in. No one enjoys scraping ice and cleaning snow off their car but what’s even worse is driving in it. With a few precautions and techniques many car accidents can be reduced and avoided. There are many winter driving tips that you can follow to be safe this season.

With a forecast of bad weather all drivers need to have the vehicle prepared properly. Your vehicle preparation is very important. All drivers should check all of their vehicle fluid levels before departure. Tires need to be properly inflated. Some good things to have with you are an ice scraper, snow brush or shovel, jumper cables, flares, flashlight etc. It is a must to clear as much snow and ice off the car before departing. Clearing ice and snow off all windows and lights and chunks of ice on the car will allow you to see as much as possible and keep your car visible to other motorists.

Now that the car is optimally prepared it is important to be very aware while driving. Pay more attention and don’t try to out drive the inclement weather. Remember that the speed limits posted are meant for normal driving conditions. Reduce your speed and make sure to leave extra room for stopping. In normal conditions drivers should leave at least one car length for every ten miles per hour. In bad weather conditions the car length should be doubled. Always be on the lookout for maintenance vehicles and plows. These vehicles should have the right of way on the road. Be very careful when changing lanes as the passing lane may be in worse condition.

If the weather is really bad it is obviously best to just stay off the roads if possible. If you are on the road or really have to get somewhere always know the latest road conditions. If you have to come to a stop or slow down, use the breaks carefully. It takes a lot more time and distance to slow down in bad weather conditions. Try to avoid any patches of ice wherever possible. All wheel drive vehicles are nice but they won’t help you stop any faster than other cars on the road. Many all wheel drive vehicles are jeeps and trucks which are heavier than normal cars and thus may take longer to stop. Quite simply you need to go slow, pay attention, leave plenty of room and be extra cautious.