Best Practices for Safe Winter Driving
Driving on slippery, snow-covered roads is unavoidable at times, especially in New England towns like Brockton, Randolph, or Stoughton. When snow starts sticking to the road, these driving tips from Collision 24 can help you maintain control.
General Tips for Winter Driving
- Keep your fuel tank at least half full so your gas line doesn’t freeze.
- Don’t use cruise control on wet or icy roadways.
- Make sure that your tires are inflated properly.
- Don’t drive when you’re tired. Your risk of getting in an accident increases when you’re fatigued, especially in adverse road conditions.
- Don’t warm up your car in the garage. This causes dangerous fumes such as carbon monoxide to collect in your cabin.
Getting a Grip on Snow, Sleet, and Slush
- Drive slowly during winter storms. While accelerating, turning, and stopping, give yourself extra time to maneuver on snow-covered roads.
- Increase your following distance. On dry pavement, the normal following distance is three to four seconds. Once streets get slippery, this should go up to about eight to 10 seconds. That way, you have more time to stop when roads are slick.
- Don’t stop while going up a hill. You may not have enough inertia to get back up again. Conversely, avoid powering up hills so your wheels don’t start spinning.
- Use threshold breaking to keep your car under control. To do this, keep the heel of your foot on the floor, and use the ball of your foot to apply steady pressure when you have to stop.
- Decelerate and accelerate slowly.
- Avoid stopping if you can. Slow down just enough that you can keep rolling until a traffic light changes.
- Don’t drive unless you absolutely have to.
Driving Long Distances in Winter Weather
- Look up the weather forecast before embarking on a long-distance drive. If bad weather is expected, delay your trip to avoid dangerous driving situations. If you have to leave, let other people know which way you’re going, where your destination is, and what time you expect you’ll get there.
- Pack a winter emergency kit with a cell phone, blankets, hats, gloves, food, water, and any medication you need.
- Stay in your car if you get snowed in. It makes it easier for rescuers to find you and provides temporary shelter from extreme cold.
- If possible, only run the heater and engine long enough to remove the chill. This conserves gasoline.
- Use any materials you have, including floor mats or blankets, to keep warm if you’re stranded.
- Make sure that the exhaust pipe is clear to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking into your cabin.
- If you get stuck, tie a brightly colored cloth on your antenna or at the top of your window to show that you need help.
- If you’re stranded at night, keep your dome light on so rescuers can find you.
Get Your Winter Car Gear at Collision 24
Winter driving is dicey at best in New England. Before the next blizzard hits Stoughton, Brockton, or Randolph, stock up on winter gear for your car at Collision 24. Contact us today or