We are in the dead of winter and have not seen any truly measurable snow yet, but that could change at any moment. Many people I know drag themselves out of bed, get ready for work and are in their car before being fully caffeinated and awake. The cold and unexpected weather of winter means more care should likely be taken during your daily drive. Many winter driving tips may seem to be common sense, but I don’t think that anyone can be reminded too often of their significance.
Winter Driving Vehicle Preparation:
- Clean the snow from your car. Headlights, hood, roof…all of it.
- Have your battery, its charging system, and engine cooling system checked out.
- Replace windshield wipers and fill your washer fluid reservoir.
- Properly inflated tires and tires with excellent tread are a must. If you were thinking of replacing them before, do it now!
- Be sure your defogger and rear defroster are working.
- Never let your gas tank go below a 1/2 tank. You never know when you may be stuck in traffic.
- Take stock of your winter gear: Ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, bag of sand for traction, gloves, blankets, and even extra clothing.
Now that you and the car are ready, if you must venture out, here is a short, easy to read list of winter driving tips. More information can be found via the AAA Exchange.
- Drive slowly. A speed limit is just that, a limit…for a sunny spring day.
- Increase your following distance. Try to stay 3-4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- Know your brakes.
- If you can avoid making a complete stop (other than where required by law), do so.
- Maintain a consistent speed going up a hill; do not slow down.
- If you’re not comfortable driving, stay home.
Even if you practice these driving habits, we all know that there are those who continue to drive as if were a sunny 4th of July. Therefore, drive defensively and watch out for the other guy!