As temperatures drop, driving conditions become more dangerous. Even light snow can cause traffic jams and accidents. If you live in or travel to an area with severe winter conditions, be prepared. A useful tip for safe winter driving is to winterize your car for snow and ice. Being proactive may aid to keep you and your loved ones safe. But it cannot protect you from all other drivers on the road. If an injury collision was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may need to seek out a personal injury attorney to find out how they can help you. To prepare for the upcoming winter season, here are some useful winter driving safety tips and what you need to know about winterizing your car.
Great care must be taken when driving in bad weather. If you are not used to driving on snow or ice, practice in an open area or empty parking lot. Also, remember our tips for driving in the snow. First of all, you should always drive slowly in bad weather. The storm doesn’t look too bad, but there may be patches of black ice that aren’t immediately visible. Try to stay calm and focused at all times. Do not accelerate or decelerate suddenly. Practise slow acceleration and deceleration. This can prevent you from losing control of your vehicle. Never use cruise control during a storm. This also leads to accidents when the situation changes suddenly.
Under normal circumstances, we should be at least 2 seconds away from other vehicles. In winter this should be increased to about 6-8 seconds. Maintain an appropriate following distance from the vehicle ahead and avoid excessive speed to ensure safety on ice and snow.
Preparing for safe winter driving starts long before it snows. Before you face any winter weather-related emergency, you need to have your vehicle ready. The websites, such as Carmax, offer helpful snow driving checklists and tips.
Before winter arrives, make sure to :
- Have all fluids changed and at proper levels, including washer fluid
- Check brakes and replace them if necessary
- Flush your heater
- Check your battery and consider installing one with a higher CCA for winter
- Make sure your rear defroster works
- Thoroughly wash your vehicle and clean out any build-up
- Wax your car to protect your paint
- Consider snow tires or all-weather tires depending on where you live
- Replace your windshield wiper blades
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated
A winter safety kit should also be installed on the car. Your winter safety gear should include :
- First aid kit
- Ice scraper
- Car tool kit.
- Warm clothing
- Boots with socks
- Non-perishable foods
- Flashlight with batteries
- Extra antifreeze
- Jumper cables
- Bag with sand
Do not pour hot water on the windshield or side windows to melt the ice. This causes the glass to expand. If the glass expands too quickly, it risks cracking. Instead, consider spraying your windows with a mixture of 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water before they freeze. The acidity of vinegar helps reduce frost and ice buildup.