Winter Driving Tips:
If you must be out driving in a winter storm, be mindful that the two most dangerous factors are lack of traction and lack of visibility.
Slow down! It’s a good rule of thumb to slow your speed by half when driving on snow and ice. Fill your tires to the recommended pressure and check your tread depth. Only 2/32” of tread depth is required for your vehicle to pass state inspection but 4/32” is needed for snow. The distance it takes to bring your vehicle to a stop will double. Allow 5-6 seconds of following=g distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Assemble a winter emergency kit for your vehicle that contains: a bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats, small snow shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, window washer solvent, ice scraper with brush, cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, warning devices (flares or triangles), first-aid kit, basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench), and a cell phone charger.
- Bridges and exit ramps always freeze up first because of the cold air flow beneath them, and intersections are especially icy.
- Clean the inside and outside of your windshield in advance and make sure you’re using antifreeze washer solvent and the reservoir is full. Being able to clear your windshield is critical. Wiper blades should be in good condition- you may want to put winter wiper blades on your vehicle.
- Clean the lenses of your headlights. Having a film of salt or sand on your headlights can reduce their effectiveness by up to 90%.
- If you start to skid, don’t try to counter-steer, don’t slam on the brakes, and don’t pump the brakes. Most vehicles have antilock brakes, so keep your foot planted firmly on the brake pedal and look and steer where you want your vehicle to go. When the tire starts to rotate again the vehicle will straighten out.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid having fuel lines freeze.
- Don’t use your parking brake.
- Avoid using cruise control in slick conditions.