Winter has now taken full grip of the country, with many locations reporting snowstorm after snowstorm. Driving in unpredictable weather conditions takes a higher level of skill than summer driving. Drivers must re-learn how to drive in nearly every situation: blizzard, light snow, icy, and sleet/wet conditions.
Driving in treacherous conditions takes a toll not just on the driver, but also on the car. The below-freezing temperatures can drain the battery and deflate tires. Snow, sleet, and salt can work toward turning small rust spots into large rust spots. Windshield wipers can tear when they glide over ice on the windshield, and brakes are used more frequently, leading to increased wear.
The first step in navigating winter roads like a pro is to be certain you have the best car insurance coverage by gathering car insurance quotes online. With the peace of mind of securing discount auto insurance from a reputable provider and knowledge that you are covered for any winter possibility, you can drive with more confidence while saving money. Ensure your policy accurately reflects the needs of you and your family.
Fully insured? Great, now let’s prepare by following these steps and tips.
Before getting started on any winter travel, stock your car with essentials that you might need if you are stranded or get into an accident.
- Extra blanket(s)
- Hats, gloves, scarves
- Cell phone charger
- Nonperishable snacks
- Sand or kitty litter for traction
- Snow shovel and ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
Allow Extra Time
Rest assured; it will be necessary for you to take extra time to get to your destination. Whether it is obvious that the weather and road conditions are bad or not, winter is fickle and can throw a mini blizzard your way on a whim. You can get caught in traffic, behind slower vehicles, behind a snowplow or be forced to drive especially slow because of ice. Take 45 minutes for a normal 30-minute drive.
Reduce Your Speed
Not taking road conditions like ice and snow into account can be a fatal mistake. Black ice may be present on bridges and overpasses, and you could very quickly lose control of your car. Losing control is less likely to culminate in an accident if you’re going slow enough to manage and process the startling shift.
Use a Lower Gear
If you start sliding on ice or snow, your vehicle will be less likely to accelerate if you already have it in a lower gear.
Never use Cruise Control
Save the cruise control for the summertime. The only good time to use cruise control is if you’re able to drive at a consistent speed. Situations such as snowy and icy roads, twisting roadways, or even heavy traffic are all times to keep it turned off.
Respect the Snowplow
It can be frustrating to get stuck behind a snowplow with no way around it but try and look at it positively. The road you are driving on is freshly plowed! If you must get around it, make sure there is ample space to do so, and don’t pull in front of the plow too close or quickly, as their blades extend farther than you might realize.
Watch the Forecast
Most activities can be forfeited or rescheduled for another day if the weather is supposed to be lousy. The best thing to do if bad weather is imminent is to stay home, warm and cozy, and enjoy the snow from your easy chair, instead!
The two most common reasons why people get into car accidents are reduced visibility and speed. Cold weather can cover windows in a thick fog, so take the time to warm your car and defrost the windows. This way, you know your visibility is not at all limited.
Know the Braking Basics
If the front wheels lock up, let the steering wheel turn freely, take your foot off the accelerator, and shift into neutral. Slowly begin to steer the vehicle the right way as the vehicle slows down. If the rear wheels lock up, take your foot off of the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front wheels to go. Anti-lock brakes will need steady pressure, while standard brakes require a gentle pump action.
Cool heads prevail when something goes awry on the road. Don’t make any sudden maneuvers. Let up off the accelerator and take a moment to process the situation so you can make the best next step.
I am Tristan who loves to ride and spend time with my jenny (horse) and my love Mark. After completing my graduation, I have been working as an accountant in a private firm in Cologne.