Safety First: Five Useful Tips for Winter Driving
When the weather outside is frightful, the fire might be delightful on the inside, but the road conditions are most likely going to be on the dangerous side. So as we start bundling up for winter, make sure you keep some of these tips for winter driving in mind to ensure a safe holiday season for everyone.
Keep your tires inflated. Inflating your tires to the proper pressure level will increase the control you have with your vehicle. With the slickness of snow and ice during the winter lowering the amount of traction you have on the road, keeping your tires inflated will greatly help you.
Make sure your gas tank is always half full. The bitter cold that comes with winter also means that liquid is going to start to freeze—leaving your gas tank less than half full can lead to condensation in your tank, which can lead to problems. A half full tank is significantly less likely to allow a gas line freeze-up, allowing you to easily start your car in the bitter months.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly in the snow or on ice. Snow and ice both affect your vehicle’s ability to perform safely on the road. Applying the gas or brake at a slower rate than normal will allow you to avoid skidding around on the road. Being in a hurry is not your friend in the winter—take time to slow down.
Heat up your car outside. Avoid warming up a vehicle in a closed off area, whether it be in a garage or a carport. The carbon monoxide your car releases is lethal and, even if you’re running it with the door open, can sometimes leak into your house without notice. The driveway or on the road in front of your house are the best places to make your car nice and toasty.
Increase your following distance. In normal, dry conditions, the suggested following distance is three to four seconds. This distance should be more than doubled during the winter to eight to ten seconds, providing you with the longer stopping distance you will need on icy or snowy roads.
Do you have any tips for winter driving of your own? Share them below.
Tim Shults likes to play golf and spend time with his four daughters.