Driving in the winter is different than driving at other times of the year. This is because you will have to deal with ice, snow, and slush covered roads. The weather and road conditions are in a less than ideal driving condition. Before you drive, make sure to follow some tips to increase the safety and comfort when you travel. You should be aware of the roads so you can have winter driving habits that are beneficial for the safety of your vehicle. The most important thing you can do is to clear off the vehicle fully. This will allow you to have the best visibility possible. Also make sure to drive at a speed you feel comfortable with. If the roads are poor, you will not want to drive at the speed limit. By reducing your speed and driving carefully, you can help to reduce the chance of an accident occurring. If you notice anything out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in for an inspection. By keeping the vehicle maintained, you can help to have it work efficiently and perform at top levels.
Improving the Visibility when you Drive
Take the time to thoroughly scrape the windows and brush snow off your entire vehicle. This includes the hood, roof, and trunk. Visibility is critical, and flying chunks of snow and ice pose a danger. Snow or ice from the roof or trunk could impair the visibility of those behind you. The snow on the hood of the vehicle can fly up and block your visibility also. Also make sure to sweep off any snow that you might have on or around the headlights and taillights. This will help to illuminate the road ahead of you. Clear lights will also allow other to see you when they are driving or walking.
Winter Driving Habits
When starting out on slippery roads, go easy on the gas to avoid wheel spin. Some vehicles have traction control or a winter mode that helps. If you have an automatic transmission that allows second-gear starts, select that gear for better traction. Reduce your speed to lessen the likelihood of a skid. Avoid any sudden inputs to the steering, throttle, or brakes. Use lower gears when decelerating, to allow the engine to slow the vehicle. Also make sure to allow adequate space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Normally you should allow three seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. On slick road conditions, you should double or triple the distance. This is beneficial if an accident happens, or you have to adjust your driving quickly.
Know How Your Vehicle Drives in Winter
Almost every modern vehicle has an anti-lock brake system. Make sure to check the owner’s manual if you are not sure. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can tell you if the vehicle has anti-lock braking. If you have an all wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle, remember to take it easy on the roads as well. These vehicles will help provide better traction while accelerating, but they do not offer more benefits for stopping or turning. By knowing how your vehicle handles in the winter, you can be prepared for all types of road conditions.