As temperatures drop, and snow falls to the ground, people of all driving experience levels have to drive in these winter weather conditions. In order to prepare for these road conditions, the following is a number of greatly recommended checklists to stay safe this winter.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
Make sure your vehicle’s maintenance has been done. This includes changing oil, topping off antifreeze (do not use strictly water for coolant, if needed use the 50/50 blend), and checking tire pressure. Most recommended is purchasing winter tires. It does not matter what type car, front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or all-wheel drive; a quality set of tires makes a world of difference in the handling of the car. If you cannot find winter or all-season tires, make sure to carry tire chains in the vehicle. Practice at home so you know how to install before it is necessary to on the side of a snowy highway.
Follow Winter Driving Recommendations
Never warm up your vehicle in a closed garage. This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. A clogged exhaust pipe will not allow gases to escape and can also lead to build up of carbon monoxide. While driving, make sure there is more than enough room between you and the car ahead in case of an emergency. Stopping distance is greatly increased, even with winter tires on. If the car starts to slide or skid, stay calm and let off the throttle and do not slam on the brakes, apply gradual pressure.
Carry Emergency Supplies
In addition to the just-in-case items, you should always have in your vehicle, such as jumper cables, tire-changing tools, flashlight, ice scrapers for windshields, and first aid kit, be sure to include other items that you can use or can be useful for other drivers. A small shovel for getting unstuck, a basic set of tools which can include sockets and wrenches, a bag of road salt or a big container of cat litter for getting moving on ice. Before driving, top off on windshield wiper fluid for clear vision. Planning on doing any off roading? It might be a good idea to carry flares for sharing your location.
Pack a survival kit
In case you are stuck in your vehicle, it is advised to keep a small survival kit on hand. Items can include wooden matches for fire or a fire-starting kit, non-perishable food along with bottled water. A cell phone charger is necessary for calling for help and blankets and warm clothing for waiting until help arrives at your location.
For more detailed information about driving in winter weather conditions, visit these websites: