Winter can bring unpredictable weather than can be challenging to drive in. Snow, ice, wind and cold weather can all impact driving conditions. Depending on the weather, you may need to change the way you are driving in order to drive as safe as possible. To reduce the risk of having an accident as the colder months come closer, learn how to drive safely in winter weather.
How-to Drive Safely in Winter Weather: Driver Safety
Adjust Your Driving
When driving in snow or ice, you will have to adjust the way that you drive. For example, you will need to slow down and not speed in these slick conditions. Ice and snow will make the roads slippery, so you won’t be able to brake as quickly as you normally would. Make sure to drive smoothly, avoiding jerky movements. If you are not smooth with turning the wheel or braking, your car could loose it’s traction on the slick roads. Parking lots can be hazardous in winter weather as well, so be mindful when you are parking since you could actually slide into other vehicles.
Also, in order to drive safely in winter weather, you will want to increase your following distances. Just like with speeding, you will not be able to brake as quickly when you are on snow or ice. Giving the car in front of you more space will give you move time to react and respond when you need to stop quickly.
Additionally, you will want to make sure you have done preparation and maintenance in order to drive safely in winter weather. This includes making sure to have the correct tires on your car for the conditions. Winter tires will winter tires much more traction in snow, slush, and ice than all-season tires will. You may even need chains for your tires if the weather gets especially bad. Summer tires are especially dangerous in cold, winter weather. Do not drive in snowy, icy conditions unless you have the appropriate tires. Make sure your headlights are working as well, because you might need them in snowy conditions with low visibility.
Keep an emergency kit in your car filled with items that could help in winter weather. Things you may want to include are an ice scraper, snow shovel, flashlight, booster cables, and flares. Cat litter or sand can give your car traction if you get stuck. Additionally, you should keep water and warm blankets in your car if you’ll be driving in winter weather. You will appreciate these items if you get stuck in the cold.