Winter Driving Tips


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BY MIKE RYAN

During the cold winter months you may face many different problems of driving, here are some ways you can react to them. 

General Tips –

  • Try to keep more than half a tank of gas in your car during this time, doing this can help you avoid having your gas line freeze up.
  • Avoid driving with cruise control on especially on icy or slippery parts of the road.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly, because of snow and generally bad weather traction will be bad, requiring more room and time to slow up and slow down.
  • Consider increasing your following distance to 6-8 seconds during this time to make it easier to stop if needed suddenly.
  • When driving up a hill be very careful and try to not stop while doing so for fear of sliding.
  • Take more popular roads to your destination even if they have more traffic these roads will be in better condition than less used roads.
  • Even if your car is all-wheel-drive you still need to drive with caution, while it is true that you will be able to drive quicker your stopping time isn’t much improved.
  • If you find yourself going over ice try to continue at a pace but use your breaks to slowly slow down to avoid losing your traction.
  • Check your exhaust pipe before embarking on a trip, do this to make sure it isn’t clogged with ice or snow which can hurt your engine.
  • Even if it is bright outside try to always be driving with your lights on so that you are able to help other drivers see where you are on the roads.
  • Try to decelerate at a slower pace so that way you can keep traction rather than slamming on the breaks.
  • Make sure your car is filled with all of the different fluids and other things essential to running smoothly.
  • Allow for more time to get to your destination than usual so you are not in a hurry.
  • If you ever begin to slide, turn into the slide, avoid overcorrecting and stay calm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips on stopping your tires from spinning –

  • Softly packed snow and ice are two main causes to your tires sliding.
  • When going over snow try to accelerate and decelerate slowly doing this will help you gain more traction and friction which will help keep your tires from spinning.
  • If you are driving over ice slow down to gain more traction, do this by slowly pressing the break because if you do it too quickly you will lose all traction and begin to slide.

 

To summarize some of the most important tips: increase your following distance to 6-8 second, drive at a slower pace to increase traction on the road, and using your accelerator and decelerator slowly to prevent your tires from sliding. Keep your lights on to increase the visibility of your car, and also doing regular engine check-ups to make sure that it is running as best as possible.

 

While driving in the cold winter months can present new and different challenges to drivers, it can be done in a safe manner. By considering these tips, you will help keep you and other drivers safe when the snow starts to fall. Don’t just drive safe during the winter months, however, always practice good driving habits to keep yourself out of trouble and out of harm.

 

Sources:

Firestone Autocare

AAA

U.S. News and World Report