Whether you have been driving for years or just got your license this year, winter driving requires adjusting your driving abilities to compensate for changes in the weather, poor road conditions, snow, sleet, and even fog. Before the first major cold snap and snowstorm hits this year, review these great tips on how to drive safely in winter weather.
1. Take a driving safety course online for a review of good driving habits. It never hurts to brush up on your driving skills. An online course is the easiest way to review them since you can complete it on just about any device with internet access. Plus, after you pass, you may even qualify for an insurance discount with your insurance company.
2. Prepare your vehicle for winter. You will want to have your vehicle inspected by your mechanic to ensure it is ready for winter weather. Have them check the coolant, transmission, and other systems and fluids. You should get a new pair of wiper blades and replace any tires that do not have sufficient tread.
3. Stock your car with the right winter equipment and supplies. You will want to keep these items in your trunk:
- Snow Brush
- Ice Scraper
- Collapsible Snow Shovel
- Ice Melt or Kitty Litter
- Heavy Blanket
- Non-Perishable Snacks/Food
- Portable Battery Jumper Pack
- Smartphone Charger
- Flashlight with Extra Batteries
Keep in mind, you can adjust your winter equipment and supply kit to fit where you live with the essentials you may need if you find yourself stranded.
4. Check the weather before leaving home. It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast, so you know what to expect while you are driving. If you work outside of your home, it is also worthwhile to check it again before leaving work to know what to expect for the drive home.
5. Put it down and pay attention. You want to eliminate all distractions when driving in winter weather. Turn the smartphone on silent, turn the radio down, and devote your attention to the road and your surroundings.
6. Slow down and increase following distances. It can take longer to stop on snow-covered roads, so you want that extra space between you and other vehicles. You should also reduce your speed so that it is easier to stop.
7. Don’t “gun it” when pressing on the gas. If the roads are icy or snowy, you won’t get any traction if you slam on the gas pedal. Instead, apply light pressure to gradually get the car moving.
8. Fully clean the snow off your car before driving. You want to remove snow from the windows, hood, roof, and trunk of the vehicle. You also need to make sure sensors and cameras are not blocked by snow.
9. Don’t “slam” on the brakes on slippery roads. If you slam on the brakes, your car will start to slide out of control. It is better to lightly tap the brakes and keep tapping them to get the vehicle to slow down until you can bring it to a full stop.
10. Don’t panic if you start to slide. If you start to slide, take your foot off the gas and lightly tap the brakes while rotating the steering wheel slightly in the opposite direction you are sliding.
11. Call 911 if you are in a car crash. Make sure to check on the other driver to see if they are okay. If possible, take pictures of the crash, and then pull the vehicles safely off the road to avoid others from crashing too.
By using these wintertime driving tips, you will be better prepared to drive safe this winter. To enroll in a traffic safety school online course to review and brush up on good driving habits, please feel free to sign up at Ticket School today! You may also contact us at (800) 558-9887 if you have further questions or need assistance.