Winter Driving. To those who have never seen snow before (and even those who have) it can strike fear into their hearts. It doesn’t have to though. Here are tips to keep you safe while driving on winter roads this winter, from someone whose been driving in the snow since Driver’s Ed (yes, I literally learned to drive in the snow).
1. SNOW TIRES. GET THEM.
If you live in an area that gets a fair amount of snow each year, buy snow tires. All season tires do not cut it. It’s not just me saying that. Yes, you need all 4 tires. Yes you need them even if you have 4wd. Yes, even front wheel drive. Rear wheel drive? Um…wait till spring? Rear wheel drive isn’t the best for snow.
2. 4 Wheel Drive Is Good For Going, Not Stopping.
Remember this. Learn it. Love it. Go faster in the conditions than you should, and your 4wd will not save you from the ditch or the snowbank.
3. Stock Your Vehicle
You’ll want an emergency kit, it should include the following:
- Emergency shovel (small shovel with extendable handle)
- Extra blankets, hats & mittens
- First Aid Kit
- Jumper Cables
- Flashlight (one of those hand crank LED ones is great)
4. Maintenance Is Your Friend
Follow your cars regular maintenance. Don’t put it off until later. Especially make sure your antifreeze is good and filled up as it should be.
5. Winterize Your Vehicle
Winter windshield wipers & winter formula wiper formula. It will make your life much easier. Nothing is worse than frozen wiper spray. Also make sure you have an ice scraper. I recommend the long handled ones with the brush. Make sure you have an extra supply of windshield wiper fluid on hand, you can go through it very fast in the winter!
6. On Slippery Roads Go Easy On the Breaks
Try to avoid sudden breaks, this can cause spins. Likewise, avoid sudden acceleration. The key to winter driving is to be constant, no sudden anythings. Plan ahead.
7. Drive A Safe Speed For the Conditions & The Road
This might be lower than the speed limit! Safe is better than fast! Safe & smooth is your goal.
When in doubt, be careful. If the weather is bad be safe & don’t go out unless you have to. Driving in the snow doesn’t have to be scarey. You can do it, just be careful and be prepared. If you are looking for even more great winter driving advice (and any other car advice you might need), get all the tips you need here.