Driving on snow and ice doesn’t even sound safe. But, if you practice some basic road safety this winter, you can minimize your chances of needing emergency towing services.
4 Tips for Road Safety in Winter
The best overall tip for safer winter driving is to take your time. Driving too fast for the conditions is a problem at the best of times, but results can be much worse in winter. With that in mind, you’ll stay safer on the road this winter by using the following tips.
Get Your Vehicle Ready
Just like you get out your winter gear, you should do the same for your vehicle. Snow tires have been proven again and again to reduce stopping distances in icy and snowy conditions. Get a winter tune-up for your car to make sure it’s in good operating condition. Also, check your windshield washer fluid and wipers regularly to make sure you can always see the road clearly.
Put Together a Winter Driving Kit
Keep the kit in your car in case you have an emergency on the road. A good kit will have everything you might need if your vehicle becomes immobilized. Among other items, your kit should include:
- Battery booster cables
- Windshield wiper fluid
- A flashlight
- A first aid kit
- Water and snacks
- Emergency reflectors, flares and lights
- A snow shovel
- A tow rope
Prepare Before You Head Out
From planning your route to checking weather reports, there’s a lot you can do even before you get in the car. Dress appropriately for the weather outside. Make sure your cell phone is charged. Completely clear your vehicle of any snow and ice before you leave.
In addition to keeping your speed in check, the following driving tips will help you avoid road emergencies.
- Stay alert. Road conditions can change very quickly – even in good weather
- Don’t use your cruise control. It can lead to higher speeds than are safe for the conditions and longer stopping distances.
- Slow down sooner. When you’re approaching an intersection, a stopped vehicle or a turn you want to make, reduce your speed well before you get there.
- Lengthen your following distances. Safe stopping distances can be double or more in winter conditions. Keep more distance between you and vehicles in front of you.
- Drive smoothly. Try not to stop, steer or accelerate suddenly or too quickly. Slower, smoother driving maneuvers will keep you in more control of the vehicle.
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