Tips for Winter Driving: Staying Safe in Cold Weather
Many people love winter, especially because of the scenic snowy landscapes and the holidays. However, winter driving can be all the more dangerous for these same reasons. Snow and ice limit your control behind the wheel, and traffic is often worse during the winter season. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips for winter driving.
According to HowStuffWorks, you should definitely consider getting four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; however, it’s also important to remember that these technologies don’t make you invincible in the snow. By sending power to all four wheels, you reduce the risk of getting stuck in ice and snow. Nevertheless, this doesn’t usually improve handling—one reason it’s important to go slow.
Next, be prepared. This seems like an overly simple tip, but preparing for the worst situations could just save your life. Always stay up to date on maintenance, and be sure to pack a roadside emergency kit. Include things that will be useful if you’re stranded on the road or in a blizzard—blankets, potable water, flares, a first aid kit. Also, be sure to keep a close eye on the weather with phone apps.
Change your driving habits. In addition to slowing down, avoid following too closely. You should normally give about 3-seconds of space (count three seconds from when the car in front of you passes an object). In winter, add a few seconds to this rule. Also, avoid driving when you’re upset or angry, as this increases the likelihood of speeding, hard braking, and tailgating.
Finally, get some winter tires. If you haven’t already, getting winter tires improves handling and control. These tires are made with special rubber to resist cold weather, added tread for better grip, and special channels to divert water. With these tips in mind, you can drive safer in the winter.