Winter weather can make for scary driving conditions. Ice and snow can pop up at any time but there are things you can do to best prepare for winter driving so you can stay safe while behind the wheel.
Check the weather before you leave
During the winter, if you plan to go out on the road, check the weather first. This will help you be better prepared for any forecasted winter weather that may be headed your way. If the temperature is especially frigid, you may want to warm your car up before you head out, though, you never want to leave your car running in an enclosed space, such as a closed garage. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that there is risk of carbon monoxide poisoning even if a car is left running in a garage with the door open.
Prep your car for winter
One of the best ways you can make sure you are best prepared for winter driving is to winterize your car. If you are comfortable performing car maintenance yourself, go for it, but it may be a good idea to have a mechanic check the following on your car:
For more details on how to prep your car for winter, read our blog post How to Winterize Your Car.
Know how to avoid a crash
Even if you have prepared your car best you can for winter, you are still your car’s best safety feature. Knowing what to do to avoid a crash before one happens is essential. Even the most experienced drivers can be thrown off by winter weather.
Firstly, if your visibility is low, it is best to pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Other winter driving conditions may be undetectable, like black ice. Do you know what to do if you feel your car losing traction and skidding? AAA recommends looking and steering in the direction you want to go if you feel you have lost traction. You also should accelerate and decelerate slowly if you have trouble gaining traction. Other tips include:
- Slow down. Stopping takes much longer on icy or wet roads, so give yourself the time and space you need to stop.
- Do not use cruise control in wintery conditions.
- Keep your gas half-filled at the minimum.
- Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
- Make sure your phone is charged or you have a charger in case your phone battery dies.
Despite doing all you can to prepare for winter driving, accidents can still happen. Make sure you are protected with the right car insurance for you. SafeAuto can get you a free quote online or by calling 1-800-SAFEAUTO.