Winter weather can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially when driving. Snow, ice, and sleet can make roads slippery and visibility low, increasing the risk of accidents. It’s essential to take extra precautions and be prepared for the worst when driving in winter weather conditions. In this article, we will provide you with the best winter storm driving tips to help you stay safe on the road.
Check Your Vehicle Before You Leave
Before you hit the road, it’s crucial to make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Check your brakes, tires, windshield wipers, and defrosting system to make sure they’re functioning properly. Make sure your headlights and taillights are working, and replace any burnt-out bulbs. It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car, including blankets, food, water, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit.
Slow Down and Increase Your Following Distance
It’s important to slow down when driving in winter weather conditions. Snow, ice, and sleet can reduce traction and make it harder to stop quickly. To compensate, increase your following distance to give yourself more time to react if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly. A good rule of thumb is to keep a following distance of at least six seconds.
Use Your Seatbelt and Avoid Distracted Driving
Always wear your seatbelt when driving, no matter the weather conditions. In the event of an accident, a seatbelt can save your life. It’s also essential to avoid distracted driving, such as texting or using your cell phone while driving. Distracted driving increases the risk of accidents, especially in winter weather conditions.
Know Your Brakes
In winter weather conditions, it’s essential to know how your brakes will respond. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, pump the brake pedal to avoid skidding. In either case, avoid slamming on the brakes, as this can cause the wheels to lock up and lead to a skid.
Use Low Gears to Maintain Traction
When driving in snow or ice, it’s essential to use low gears to maintain traction. This will help you avoid skidding and keep your vehicle under control. If you get stuck in the snow, avoid spinning your wheels, as this will only dig you in deeper. Instead, gently rock your vehicle back and forth to try to get it moving again.
Be Prepared for the Worst
It’s essential to be prepared for the worst when driving in winter weather conditions. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and call for help. Keep your cell phone charged and make sure you have a charger with you. If you have to walk in the snow, wear warm clothing, including gloves and a hat, to protect yourself from the cold.
In conclusion, winter weather conditions can be dangerous, especially when driving. By following these winter storm driving tips, you can stay safe on the road and avoid accidents. Always be prepared for the worst, slow down, and increase your following distance. And most importantly, know your brakes and use low gears to maintain traction.