Five Things to Remember when Driving in Winter Conditions

December 14, 2018

1. Ensure Your Vehicle is Not a Hazard

The winter weather alone can make road travel dangerous, but it’s not the only hazard to consider.
Before you hit the road, you should do a quick examination of your vehicle to ensure it doesn’t put you or other drivers in danger.

  • Check to make sure your lights, blinkers, and emergency flashers are in working order.
  • Ensure your windshield wipers aren’t frozen in place.
  • Clear any snow or ice from your vehicle’s roof, hood, and truck as well as its windows and mirrors

2. Start Slow, Stop Slow

Even the most confident winter drivers can quickly find themselves sliding off the road or spinning out
of control. When driving on a slippery surface, remember to start slow and stop slow. Accelerating at a
slower rate gives your tires the chance to find a safe grip on the roadway, while hitting the brakes sooner
–and softer– provides your vehicle with enough distance to safely come to a stop.

3. Keep Your Distance

With everyone driving a little slower, it can be tempting to ride a little closer. If you feel your patience
thinning, remind yourself of how fast an accident can happen in winter weather and how little time
you’ll have to react if it does. Do your best to leave at least five seconds worth of time between
you and surrounding cars.

4. Stay the Course if You Hit Black Ice

When snow or rain re-freezes on roadways, it’s referred to as black ice. These frozen layers of water
are invisible to drivers and are most often lurking in shady spots and bridges. What do you do if you
hit black ice? The key is not to react. Stay calm, steer straight, and do not hit your brakes.

5. Keep an Emergency Winter Driving Kit in Your Car

Should you find yourself stranded in winter weather, an emergency driving kit could prove essential to
your survival while waiting for help. Keep the following items in a small box in your trunk or behind your
driver’s seat just in case you may need them:

  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Snacks and water
  • Gloves
  • Portable Cell Phone Charger
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Jumper Cables
  • Road Flares

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