Until you experience it first-hand, you don’t realize how much of an impact the weather has on how you control your vehicle. I remember my first time driving on the icy roads of Canada, that was not fun at all.
Most of us would choose to hibernate, unfortunately, it is not always possible to remain at home. We all have various responsibilities that force us to leave the safety of our homes.
When it comes to driving in the winter it’s best to arm yourself with information. Through this article, we list some tips to help you and your family stay safe on the road.
Winter Maintenance Your Car
A good habit is to keep your car in peak performance before winter. It is best to have your car winterized by a certified mechanic. This is the best way to be prepared for harsh winter conditions. Also, check the engine oil and antifreeze, and other car fluids that need to be replenished.
It is essential that your heater and defroster are working properly and it will be a bonus to keeping you warm. It also reduces the moisture in the car and clears the windows of fog and ice. Be sure to check your battery and wipers because it impacts your driving and overall safety.
Having the proper winter tire is designed to work for all winter conditions. Regularly check and keep the tire pressure according to the owner’s manual. This will help maintain traction, handling, and durability.
Know When Not To Drive
Another great tip is to always make sure you are prepared if you have a long commute planned. We recommend keeping a pack of essentials such as a warm blanket, reflective jacket, gloves, food, ice scraper, water, and any medication.
Watch the weather reports and try to avoid the roads when the weather is bad. When bad weather hits and you are doubtful about driving, wait the storm out. Sometimes the best decision is to stay home and not to go out and drive.
Telling someone where you are going, what route you will be taking, and your estimated time of arrival will count in your favor should you not arrive at your destination. There will be no need to panic, knowing that you will be rescued.
A lot of people don’t realize how sensitive your car is to adverse weather conditions.
When roads are wet or even iced over, anticipate the actions of other drivers rather than to rely on sudden braking or accelerating.
Driving safe is a controversial topic, after all – it’s not you, it’s all the other dummies on the road, right? Personally, I feel like the best way to give yourself control over the other cars on the road is to buy yourself time. That means driving slower and avoiding tailgating.
Tailgating can be extremely dangerous, if someone decides to slam on their brakes for no reason, you will have no time to react. Increasing your driving distance gives you more control should others decide to do something crazy on the road.
Remember, there is no need to re-act fast and furious to get somewhere quicker. Rather take the extra time, slow down, and be safe rather than sorry.
Probably the most important tip we can give you is to be careful of your pressure on the brakes/throttle while driving on slippery roads. The traction your car gets on the road due to lower road temperatures can cause your car to slip out, and before you know it you will be in a ditch.
Our last tip isn’t technically a driving tip. However, we all know that pain when your windshields freeze over. Then, of course, Murphy’s law kicks in – it starts snowing. If you’ve experienced this, you know how stressful it is! The good news is that you can avoid your windshields freezing over by adding screenwash to your water system.
Screenwash has a lower freezing point, so when combined with the water in the system, it raises the freezing point – bam, problem solved!
Winter Driving School Classes
Driving in the winter does not only mean reduced visibility and slippery roads, it is also rapid changes in the weather and unforeseen car trouble. These kinds of conditions can be dangerous for the inexperienced driver.
Attending an accredited winter driving school class will be a benefit to the driver by having an in-person instructor. The professional driving instructor will be able to teach you how to drive safely and rectify your mistakes immediately.
Lessons with the instructor mean you will spend more time in the vehicle and this means you will learn the limits of the vehicle as well. Knowing the limits of your vehicle is as important as knowing your own.