Being an alert and defensive driver while being on the road is critical for winter driving safety, but there are other ways too in which you prepare and care for your vehicle during the colder months. Depending on the area where you live and the types of roads on which you drive, winter driving may need for all the things from different tires to different wiper blades to different fluids in the engine.
During the winter, it’s always a good idea to stock your car with a few specialty items which can help you get on the road faster first thing or can get you out of a jam if you got stuck along the way.
Here are 10 tips for safer winter driving.
Slow down and give yourself more space in case you do lose control of the car, you have more time to recover. If there’s one piece of advice that driving experts unanimously recommend you follow in the winter, it’s this: Slow down and back off.
Simply reducing speed and adding the following distance when you are driving in winter conditions will dramatically reduce the likelihood of an accident. These basic safety measures help you maintain and regain control of your car, give you more time to prepare for dangerous patches of road, snow, curves, and, equally importantly, this will put space between you and other drivers who may not be so cautious.
Calibrate your Driving
Calibrate your driving to your neighborhood or other low-traffic areas. Safe winter driving requires you to “slow down and plan ahead. Don’t let yourself be surprised by conditions or other drivers on the road ahead.”
You are driving beyond the limits of safety if you find your vehicle’s safety systems like anti-lock brakes and traction control regularly being engaged. When traffic is clear and you have room to work, try slowing down or stopping as quickly as you can without activating your antilock brakes.
Proper Vehicle Maintenance
It is especially important during the winter. Always make sure that your tire pressure is correct, fluids are topped off, and your battery is in proper working order.
Winter puts a strain on your vehicle, so you need to put even more effort into vehicle maintenance to make sure the car, truck, or SUV is in proper and safe working conditions.
To ensure that you can maintain proper control of your vehicle during winter drives, you must check tire pressure “on a weekly basis.”
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Do not slow down too much
Maintaining a safe driving speed doesn’t mean going at a snail’s pace slowing down too much can be dangerous as it can create almost as much danger as driving too fast.
While of course driving at an unsafe high speed is the most dangerous thing you can in bad driving conditions, going too slowly can also more dangerous during the winter than in any other season. You don’t need to crawl along because this can create sorts of hazards for other drivers.”
Driving too slowly is the most dangerous when you around blind curves.
Make sure your tires are in good condition
Make sure your tires are in good shape and consider buying a set of winter tires — you can rely on them for several winter seasons. You have to be aware of the traction limit of your tires according to the road conditions.
Once your car’s antilock brakes are activated you are at or beyond, the traction limit of your tires.
You can also increase your safety by improving traction with better tires most preferably dedicated winter tires which are designed to deliver the best traction in winter weather.”
Winter tires have larger gaps in their tread patterns than standard tires, improving traction on snow and ice, and are formulated with a softer, more malleable rubber compound, ensuring to maintain better grip even in subzero temperatures.
Right tires according to the conditions can transform an otherwise stressful, challenging drive into a liberating experience.