As many of us head off for the upcoming holidays, winter storms could bring dicey conditions on the roads. Know how to drive properly in the snow to keep yourself, your passengers and fellow drivers safe.
Winter Driving Tips
1. Drive Slowly
This seems like the most obvious of safety tips but it is one that many people simply seem to forget. When you slow down, you allow more room between you and other cars, which can be crucial if someone starts to slide. In addition, going slowly gives you the chance to respond appropriately, instead of having to slam on the brakes and find yourself spinning or sliding into a dangerous situation.
2. Don’t Slam on the Brakes
When you start to brake on a slippery road and you panic slightly, thereby putting more pressure on the brakes, you are setting yourself up for a potentially dangerous skid. Gently apply pressure to the brakes, even in a scary situation, to avoid having the brakes lock up.
If you do start to skid, lift your foot off the brakes and carefully steer the car in the direction that you want the car to go.
3. Consider Snow Tires
Be sure you’ve got the right tires. An all-wheel drive car can be bested by a rear-wheel drive car if the latter is the only one working with proper snow tires. Here’s a good guide to new tires, what size tires you need, and what you might have to pay for them.
4. Make Sure the Car is Running Well
The last thing you want is to get stranded in the snow or cold. Keep the gas tank full, change the oil, check your battery, and keep your car running in good condition. Check with your local mechanic to have an annual winter checkup before weather gets bad. After all, it really is always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Keep The Necessities in the Car
The Boy Scouts were right, it is always best to be prepared. Keep a small supply of food, water, blankets, a flashlight, and a first aid kit in your car. Use this guide to create your own DIY winter car care kit. If something happens, and you do end up stuck on the side of the road somewhere, you’ll be glad to have everything you need in the car.
5. Be Patient
Last but least, be patient. Of all the winter driving tips out there, the most important is to use common sense. Remember that the only thing you have to prove is that you are careful enough to keep yourself and those near you safe, so being fast or careless is never worth it. On snowy days, getting from Point A to Point B safely is all that matters.
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