Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

With winter well on the way, the roads are about to become a dangerous game of snow and ice for drivers. Regardless, you still have to get to work and all your other obligations this holiday season. To help you stay safe, here are some expert tips for safe winter driving, according to the experts at Ankin Law Office.

Car Prep

Ensuring your car is ready for the winter is also a vital step. A New Orleans car accident attorney recommends keeping your tires fully inflated, always having at least a half a tank of fuel, and never relying on cruise control in icy or snowy conditions. 

You should also give your car enough time to warm up before heading out to cut down on wear and tear. While it might seem like a good idea, never let your vehicle run in an enclosed area. Even leaving the garage door open is a bad idea. 

Beating the Cold

Snow and ice are unpredictable, but you can always count on the temperature dropping this time of year. That’s why you should keep a cold-weather emergency kit in your car. Place items like water, extra coats, a flashlight, and blankets in your trunk or cargo space. 

You should also include necessities like toilet paper and any medications. Food, particularly snack items that stay fresh, are also ideal. While you might never need your emergency kit, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Beating the Snow

When a snowstorm finally hits your area, there are number of precautions that are recommended by, that you can take to keep yourself safe. First, just stay home if the weather is bad enough. You know better than anyone how your car handles in the snow, so don’t push it to its limits and potentially cause an accident. 

Second, take things slow and easy. Jolly Berry Law accident attorney recommends accelerating and decelerating slowly to keep your vehicle from “fishtailing,” or slipping and sliding. They also suggest increasing your following distance from three seconds to five or six, giving yourself plenty of time to react to dangerous situations. 

Finally, don’t try to power your way through hills. Instead of letting your tires spin aimlessly, get enough inertia going before you hit the incline. Then, reduce your speed as you reach the top before heading downhill. 

Traveling Long Distance

Preparing for a winter trek takes a little extra work. You need to check the weather from your starting point to your destination, make sure your car’s parts are ready to handle winter conditions, and keep in touch with others to let them know where you are. 

If you do find yourself stranded, make sure to stay with your vehicle for shelter. Don’t overexert yourself trying to dig your car out of snow, but do keep your exhaust pipe clear. Make sure to stay warm and keep your vehicle visible using either your car’s interior lights or by tying a colored ribbon to your antenna. Finally, make sure to conserve fuel so the heater can continue to run.