Unfortunately it’s winter driving for the next 4-5 months. There are many ways to avoid problems while driving in snow or other inclement conditions, and if you do experience an issue, even more ways to ensure your safety, such as calling for a tow instead of bearing the brunt of bad weather. Parker Towing has this short list of winter driving and car tips. Remember to slow down and don’t panic.
The best strategy for winter driving is to be prepared. Stock non-perishable snacks, drinking water, blankets, extra clothes, flashlights, flares, phone charger, batteries, jumper cables, reflective triangles, reflective vest, ice scraper, snow shovel, and kitty litter or sand for tire traction if your car gets stuck. Before heading out, make sure your gas tank is full and use either all-season tires or snow chains.
Check how your battery is working before heading out into the cold. Turn on the headlights and start your car’s engine. If your headlights brighten up when the engine starts, then it is a good idea to bring it in for a recharge or a completely new battery. Be sure to check antifreeze and windshield fluid levels while you are at it. There are a number of de-icing windshield fluid brands for severe weather.
It’s always a good idea to clear off your windshield as much as possible before heading out onto the road. Having the most visibility will increase the chances of a safe journey wherever you are headed. Defrosting and de-icing before you hit the road is safer than while driving. Clear snow or slush off of the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Use your headlights, even in the daytime, to make sure that you are visible to other drivers.
Slow and Steady
Even if you have all-wheel drive, a slow even acceleration and deceleration is the key to safer driving on winter roads. Avoid spinning tires as much as possible. Especially if you only have 2-wheel drive, plan to leave early and take it slow a route.
Braking is going to be different in snow and icy conditions. Most likely, your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS). This will help to keep it from skidding, allowing you to continue steering during sketchy situations in which you must brake hard. In this case, “stomp, stay, and steer.” If you have to brake hard, you will feel a thumping sensation below the foot pedal. This is completely normal with ABS and actually helps with the mechanism.
Practice steering around obstacles instead of heading straight towards them. Even though it sounds like a no-brainer, our instincts to evade don’t always kick in when the moment arises.
If you find yourself in a skidding situation, turn the wheel in the same direction as the rear of the vehicle is going. Otherwise, a skid could turn into a spin and even a car accident.
As you can see, there are few precautions to take for safer driving on winter roads. No matter what happens though, Parker Towing is here to help, anytime day or night. Just give us a call.