By Jennifer Rodriguez
The snowy winter months may be a beautiful sight to see, but they also come with slippery and slushy roads. If you drive a vehicle, then you may want to take a look at some of these tips to help you while you’re on the road.
- Take your time
Driving in the snow or on ice is not like driving on the regular road. It is important to accelerate and brake slowly. Braking too fast can lead to your vehicle sliding. If there are vehicles driving behind you, braking too fast could also cause them to slide, possibly resulting in a crash. Accelerating slowly will help you avoid skids. Also, leaving early will give you a head start on where you are going, so you don’t have to rush. Take your time, slow down and make it to your destination safely.
- Clear your windows and lights.
It can be cold standing outside to clean off your vehicle, but it’s important. Driving with snow or ice on your windows can impair your view and create blind spots. Before you hit the road, make sure you take a few minutes to scrape off any ice or snow that may be on your vehicle. It’s just as important to clean your lights. If there is snow or ice on your lights, it can dim them, making it harder to see when it gets darker outside. Warming up your car can help clear the windows, and an ice scraper/snow brush is a non-expensive tool to get the rest.
- Know the road conditions
These days with technology at our fingertips, it’s not hard to find out the weather. Knowing what the weather conditions are before getting behind the wheel can help prepare you for the driving to come. The news, weather apps and even social media are all sources that can help alert you on weather conditions, and it just takes a moment to check. If you don’t have access to any of these things, simply pick up the phone and call a friend, it doesn’t take much to ask what the roads look like.
- Be aware of your surroundings
Looking ahead can help keep you safe. Watch the vehicles around you, this can help prepare you if you are approaching an unsafe zone. Pay attention to signs. Bridges freeze faster than roads, many times there are signs warning of this. If you see a sign warning of animals crossing, you may want to drive slower, so you don’t have to brake suddenly if one walks into the street. Avoiding hills may be a good option, especially if you see ice. Focus on the road and pay attention to what is going on.
- Winter proof your vehicle
It is very important to make sure your vehicle is ready for the winter. There are a few ways to do this. Check your battery. When the temperature drops, your battery loses power, checking it in advance will save you from coming outside to a car that won’t start. Switching to winter wiper blades will save your windows from obscuring your view. Check your tire pressure because tires will lose pressure when the temperature drops. While checking the pressure, you may also want to check the tread. A tire with bad tread is more likely to slide. If you notice the tread is bad, you may want to get new tires. If you have it, use your four-wheel drive. These things could make a major difference.