Winter Driving

Winter is the perfect time to build crackling fires and snuggle up with a nice cup of cocoa. It also creates some treacherous road conditions, driving in the winter can be harrowing, especially in snowstorms and icy conditions. Winter driving can sometimes be a daunting task, but most of us can’t hibernate until spring. Safe winter driving requires an abundance of caution, with defensive driving techniques employed and extra vigilance behind the wheel.

The best way to stay safe during winter driving conditions is to avoid them altogether, but hunkering down isn’t always an option. If you have to hit the road when it’s snowy, icy, or wet make sure both you and your car are prepared for safe winter driving. Here at cash for cars we have prepared a few tips to keep you safe.

Prioritize Vehicle Maintenance

Prepare your vehicle for winter driving by giving it a complete checkup.

Tires

Check the tread on your tires, worn tires are more likely to slip and slide in icy winter conditions. Invest in all-season tires for maximum traction, the softer rubber on winter tires allow them to maintain a better grip in slippery situations. The traction between tires and roadway determines how well a vehicle rides, turns, and stops, and is crucial for safe driving in winter.

Brakes

Check brakes and adjust to ensure equal braking. Using them properly on the road is crucial to retain control on snowy roads.

Clearing

Clear snow and ice from your car, make sure your windshield wipers are in proper working order for clearing rain, snow, and ice.

Exhaust System

Check the exhaust system for leaks. A properly sealed exhaust system reduces the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning and keeps the exhaust pipe unclogged.

Heating and cooling system

Check the radiator and hoses for leaks always ensure that your vehicle has a sufficient amount of anti-freeze for the coldest weather and check the defrosters to make sure they are working properly.

Windshield wipers

Ensure that windshield wipers function efficiently and replace them if they aren’t working properly. Fill the washer container with an anti-freeze fluid.

Fuel

Fill up the fuel tank before you leave and never let the fuel level get too low.

Car battery

Temperature can have a huge impact on your car battery’s life and performance so if you’re going on a long drive, it is smart to check the charge of your battery.

Make sure you are prepared by gathering the Winter Driving Essentials

Safe winter driving can’t always save you from trouble. Be always prepared for the worst, and make sure your car is outfitted with supplies in case of an emergency. The items you should have in your car at all times include a blanket, an ice scraper, hand warmers, a first aid kit, jumper cables, extra washer fluid, food and water, flashlight, flares, shovel, and sand litter.

Prepare yourself for Winter Driving

Plan your driving and familiar with the route as well as get updates regarding the road conditions before hitting up. Check weather conditions for your travel route and plan your arrival time at a destination by taking into account any delays. Warm-up your vehicle before driving off, it reduces moisture condensing on the inside of the windows but never warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.

Tips for Driving in Winter Weather

Slow Down

Roads during winter are more dangerous your car will take longer to slow and stop than on clear roads. You will need to drive more slowly in winter conditions than at other times of the year.

Stay Alert

Safe driving means paying attention to your surroundings, not to other unnecessary things that can keep you distracted.

Accelerate and Decelerate slowly

It is one of the most important winter driving tips. Using brake while driving in snow can cause your car to lose traction and tend to lose control. So keep calm and carefully accelerate the break slowly to prevent any accidents while on the road.

3-4 second rule

This is a general driving tip, stay at least 3 to 4 seconds behind the person in front of you. When driving during winter, this should be increased to 6 to 8 seconds.

Avoid Wheelspin

If the road is slippery when you start, do it in second gear, releasing the clutch and accelerating gently, avoiding high revs – this will help prevent wheel spin. As you drive, stay in higher gears to help avoid wheelspin.

Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Brake before making turns

Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns

Control Skids

When skidding, you need to go against your instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.

Lights On

Turn on the lights to increase visibility to other, this will help prevent accidents.

No Cruise Control

This goes along with staying alert. Using cruise control while driving in snow or on ice could lead to an accident, quickly. Keep the cruise control off while driving in winter conditions.

Watch out for Bridges, Overpasses, and Ramps

Pay attention to the features of the road, areas like bridges, overpasses, and ramps tend to freeze first and stay frozen longer than other stretches of road. Slow down as you approach these areas.

Tips for Long-Distance Winter Trips

  • If you are planning for long-distance travel during the cold weather, you need to be aware and knowledgeable of road safety tips for driving in the snowfall season.
  • Have your vehicle check thoroughly by an approved auto-repairing facility
  • Check for the weather forecast along your route
  • Before hitting the road, notify others and let them know your route, destination, and estimated time of arrival
  • Avoid driving at night on high-speed lanes as visibility is very low during bad weather conditions

Things you need to do in an Emergency Situation

  • If you find yourself stuck in a wintry weather, follow these safety rules:
  • If you get stuck in the snow, don’t spin your wheels. Doing so you’ll create an ice slick beneath your tires. Get a rocking motion with your car and with enough momentum move forward.
  • Avoid over-exertion and over-exposure to the cold. Sweaty clothes next to the skin are not good insulators against the cold and can increase your body temperature that may lead to hypothermia.
  • Stay in your car and keep calm. You can’t think straight if you are panicking.
  • Be visible. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on
  • Bundle up in a blanket
  • To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. Clear the exhaust pipe and make sure it is not clogged.
  • Conserve fuel. Only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill.