If you’ve lived in New England, you know how easy it is to become accustomed to winter weather and not think about the risk of winter driving. Therefore, if you’re planning on hitting the roads this winter (most likely all of you will say yes) here are some winter driving tips to keep you safe.
How to stock your vehicle
Even if you like keeping your car clear of clutter, having these essential items is critical for smart winter driving:
- A bag of kitty litter or sand just in case your car get’s stuck. If it does, spread the sand or kitty litter under your tire to give it traction.
- Regardless of the time of year, you should always have jumper cables, a flashlight, and some emergency markers in your trunk.
- Store a blanket in your backseat. There is nothing better than surprising your loved ones with a blanket when they’re cold.
- Purchase a pack of water bottles, some granola bars, and any necessary medicine you’ll need as you’re driving on those longer, more remote, trips.
- Shovel, broom, scraper. Say that again, shovel, broom, scraper.
What to THINK about when driving in winter weather
- Drive slowly. Let us repeat that. Drive slowly. Don’t be rushed and give yourself enough time to get to your destination 10 minutes early, even if you have to change a flat tire.
- Remind yourself that it’s MUCH harder to control or stop your vehicle during winter condition. Even if those slick looking car commercials show the newest model ripping through snow piles, it’s not practical, nor realistic.
- Test and learn about your antilock brake system. This system prevents your wheels from locking up during braking. You know that vibrating feeling in the brake pedal when you break on ice? Well, those are your antilock breaks. If you catch yourself sliding on ice, and you have antilock breaks, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock breaks, you may need to pump your breaks if you feel your wheels starting to lock up.
Be friendly to those Snow Plows
- Give the snow plows plenty of room! Snow plows tend to take wide turns, they stop often, they overlap lanes, and they exit the road frequently so give them their s.
- The road in front of the snow plow is more dangerous than the road behind the snow plow. So stay behind the plows.