Many weather forecasts predict a more severe winter in parts of our region. As a result, it is always best to be prepared for any type of severe weather. Driving in inclement weather requires proper vehicle maintenance, pre-trip planning, specific driving skills and the correct driving attitude.
Winter Driving Tips:
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
- Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
- Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
Winter Survival Kit 10-Point Checklist
- Flashlight with fresh batteries
- Booster Cables
- Ice scraper
- Small bag of abrasive material, such as sand or cat litter
Be Mentally Prepared
- Leave earlier for your destination
- Use main roads or arteries whenever possible
- Use your knowledge of the area to your advantage
- Expect traffic to travel at a slower pace
- Avoid using cruise control in wet weather driving conditions
- Look farther ahead and pay particular attention to "hot spots": bridges, culverts, on and off ramps and elevated highways. Be alert for "Black Ice."
- Avoid unusual driving maneuvers that could induce a skid
- If you find yourself beginning to skid, ease up on the accelerator, keep a firm grip on the wheel, and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
- Don't let your emotions affect your driving
- Realize that traffic moves at a slower pace during inclement weather
- Cloth or a roll of paper towels
- Small shovel
- Cell phone
- Can of de-icer
- Warning device, such as flares or reflective triangle
Visibility Is The Key
- Clear off snow and ice from your vehicle before starting out
- At intersections, pull up farther to increase visibility
- Switch headlights on low beam to avoid glare and to ensure that taillights are on
Increase Your Following Distance
- Slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
- Add more space as conditions worsen
- Don't be afraid to shift into a lower gear to reduce speed
- Observe other vehicles to determine existing road conditions
Common Sense Is The Key
- Ask yourself the following questions
- Is this trip really necessary?
- Is my vehicle ready for this trip?
- Am I mentally and physically prepared to make this trip?