Simple Guide to Safe Winter Driving

headlights, windshield wipers

For those of you in the northern half of the US, winter weather is here! But, for everyone, this typically means that road conditions will increasingly get a little more challenging, slicker, and potentially more dangerous. In any winter wet conditions, it’s important to be at the top of your driving game when traveling on the road. For a convenient way to book all of your winter car maintenance in one place, use CarAdvise. Today we will go over some helpful tips for driving safely during the winter.

 

Be Prepared – Get Snow Tires Installed

 

If you live in a part of the country where you can expect to get snow in the winter, plan ahead and get snow tires installed in your vehicle. Snow tires will offer you more traction and better handling when driving in snowy conditions and will help prevent skidding and getting stuck. Get your tires switched out towards the beginning of winter at your local tire shop or mechanic. Better yet, use CarAdvise to save money on your snow tires and installation! Purchase your tires and book an installation in minutes right from the app.

 

In Snowy Conditions, Use Your Headlights and Windshield Wipers

 

As with all precipitation, but especially with snow, visibility decreases as the snow starts to come down. This could spell trouble and increase the likelihood of an accident if you’re not careful. Turning on your headlights may seem to offer minimal help to you, but it will also make you more visible to oncoming traffic and reduce the chances of a head-on collision. Your windshield wipers will be your best friend when the snow really starts to come down. Use them at a speed setting that allows your windshield to be mostly clear of snow and you’ll be good to go! Using your headlights and windshield wipers together will greatly increase your visibility while driving in the snow. 

 

Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly

 

When driving in the snow, it can take longer for your tires to regain traction when accelerating from a stopped position. If you accelerate too fast you may experience a skid. Similarly with decelerating, slowing down too fast in snowy conditions might also cause you to skid. Accelerate and decelerate slowly when leaving and approaching intersections to stay safe at all times.

 

Increase Your Following Distance

 

It takes your vehicle longer to stop on icy roads. That is why we advise that you increase your following distance when traveling behind other cars. That way, if you need to suddenly stop and hit the brakes, you’ll be giving yourself more distance to stop. This is especially useful when the roads are icy and your vehicle is more prone to sliding. Increase your following distance to 5-6 seconds to give you a good safety net. On a similar note…

 

Brake Sooner

 

…you’ll want to start braking sooner as well. Remember that it takes your vehicle longer to stop during wet, snowy, and icy conditions. Be sure to apply firm and steady pressure on the brake pedal and begin to brake sooner than you usually would. When coupled with an increased following distance, this will help ensure that you won’t slam into the car in front of you should your brakes take longer to stop the car.

 

This concludes our simple guide to driving safely during the winter. We hope that you learned something and that you will apply these techniques if you have to drive in winter conditions. Remember, the best thing to do when it gets snowy out is to stay home and stay off the roads. Only drive in such conditions when absolutely necessary.

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