We all know winter driving sucks at times, so make sure your ready! Pack a small bag in your car with things you might need, like a blanket to two, candle and matches for emergency heat, a help sign or bright piece of cloth to tie to your antenna, some food and water, hats, gloves and emergency medication if it’s needed. You could be stuck on the highway for a wile, worst case scenario. Also, keep you gas tank at least half full, especially when heading out on a longer trip, duh!
When it comes to tires, get winter tires if your in an area that you get snow! Yes, they aren’t cheap, but way worth the money. And the actual cost is offset by the fact that you only use them in the winter, so your saving wear of summer tires. Keep an eye on your tire pressure as well, over and under inflated tires do not help with traction!
Speed up and slow down slowly. This ain’t a race. So slow down. A little less speed will increase the time you have to react. Not only for you, but everyone else on the road may not have read this, and may have no idea how to drive in the snow! And his tires probably are slicks!
Never use your cruise control in inclement weather. Never. If you have ABS, never pump your brakes! ABS systems work with a full brake application.
Normally a following distance of three to four seconds is great, but it should be increased to eight to ten seconds in snow or rain. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
Stay single file! Unless your traveling 1000 miles that extra 20 faster will not get yo ere any quicker. What’s usually a 40 minute drive will take you 43 minutes. Do the math. It’s really surprising. It took me many years to figure this out.
Trucks, SUV’s and other all wheel drive vehicles can accelerate a bit faster in slippery conditions, but they can NOT brake any better!!! Somehow folks think they can. But they can not. Actually, they are usually heavier than most cars, and have wider tires that act as plows, which means they slide easier, and once sliding, tend to keep sliding!
Know your vehicle. If you don’t, take it to an empty snowy parking lot and do donuts. It’s fun! Accelerate, brake while turning, turn sharp….. Learn how you car is going to react. Much better to learn it here than on the road with other cars! If a cop or someone gives you krap, tell them why you are doing it.
When you get Stuck
If your broke down, or stuck on a closed road, don’t leave you car. Tie that cloth sign to your antenna or the top of a window, or put that help sigh out. Stay warm. Make sure your tail pipe isn’t blocked with snow or mud. Intermittently run the engine just to stay warm. Don’t drain the battery when it’s off. Make sure someone knows where you are. You have supplies…… use them when needed. If your stuck, don”t over exert yourself!
And lastly, if the weather outside is frightening, STAY HOME!