The Ultimate Guide to Winter Driving Safety

Winter driving can be one of the most hazardous situations you will face in your vehicle. With all types of dangerous terrain and road conditions (icy, wet, snow-covered), in addition to freezing temps and high winds, winter travel, even in short distances can be very difficult.

And while it’s everybody’s responsibility to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road, the fact of the matter is that you simply can’t trust that other drivers might not be distracted. 

In this winter driving safety guide, we will cover the most dangerous issues drivers face this time of year, along with the best prevention or adaptation techniques. Here are 3 simple but important winter driving safety tips: 

1. Always Check Forecasts Before Leaving

Winter weather can change in an instant. Knowing what’s in store for the next few hours is a smart first step in preparing to deal with whatever type of conditions you may encounter. Check for any alerts or warnings about potential issues in or along your travel route. If there is something to be concerned about, look for alternative routes or consider delaying the trip altogether. 

And although it is impossible to do over the course of the entire season, try to avoid driving at night as much as possible. Handle chores and errands during the daylight hours whenever feasible. 

2. Have Your Vehicle Winter-Road Ready

A little maintenance and a few upgrades prior to the onslaught of winter weather can go a long way in keeping you and your passengers safe during the colder months. A basic checkbook for items to service or replace includes:

  • Tires
  • Battery
  • Headlights/Fog Lamps
  • Brakes
  • Heater
  • Belts and hoses

A well-maintained vehicle is an important aspect of winter driving safety. Bright lights help illuminate the roads in rainy conditions, winter tires make driving in ice and snow easier, and new brakes operate significantly better in this type of weather than do old ones.

3. Follow Proper Driving Tips for Winter Weather

There are a lot of ways that you drive in the spring or summer that are not advised or even possible in the hazardous conditions of winter. For example, it would be reckless to drive 70 mph on an icy freeway, even if there was no traffic. 

Likewise, there are many specific techniques that you can incorporate into your winter driving routine to make it safer, including accelerating and decelerating more slowly, using gentler movements with the steering wheel, and increasing your braking distance.

Learning More About Winter Driving Safety

Unlike any other season, driving in the wintertime requires extra patience, concentration, and respect for the road. By following the tips provided in this guide, you will be able to navigate these in climate conditions with much more confidence. 

However, there are many more things you can do to increase your safety when traveling in the winter. Do research online, follow instructions from trained meteorologists, and keep up-to-date on the latest in safety auto tech.

Photo by Michael Steinman on Unsplash

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