If you live in an area where winter includes ice and snow, than you understand the importance of having basic winter driving skills. Never are accidents more prevalent in the United States than in the winter months, but many of those accidents could be avoided with proper preparation. With that in mind, we decided to put together a list of our five most useful winter driving tips to help you navigate the roads safely during this snowy season.
Invest In Tires
Depending on where you live, you will need to invest in winter tires. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean snow tires, but it most certainly at least means all-season tires. However, if you know you are going to be driving in ice and snow regularly, buying snow tires is worth the investment. Not only do snow tires have a more robust tread pattern, but they’re also made of a different kind of rubber that stays malleable during cold conditions, which allows you to grip the road better. Remember, it does not take a lot of ice to send your car into a skid. Avoid dangerous conditions by making sure your car is prepared for them–snow tires is the crux of vehicle winter preparation.
Prepare Your Vehicle
While the change of seasons can be rough, it is, at the very least, predictable. With that in mind, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for winter conditions before it actually snows. It’s important to always have at least a quarter tank of gas at all times if you live somewhere where temperatures get well below freezing to ensure your car always starts. Also, make sure you have an ice scraper in your car, water and some emergency food in case you get stuck. It’s also a good idea to have a collapsible shovel if you know you’re going to be driving some back roads so you can dig yourself out should you get stuck.
Slow It Down
Perhaps the number one winter driving tip is to simply slow it down. When snow or ice is on the roadways the distance needed to come to a stop is much greater than it is in the summertime. Remember, posted speed limits are for roads in ideal condition, don’t feel bad going below the speed limit during winter conditions.
Keep Your Distance
Much like speed limits, the rules of how great a distance you should maintain between other cars on the roadway are different during winter conditions as well. Since the distance needed to come to a stop is greater, it makes sense to keep the car in front of you at a greater distance as well. In ideal conditions it’s usually a good practice to keep at least three seconds of distance between you and the car ahead of you. During the winter that distance should be at least five seconds.
Watch The Weather
Lastly, watch the weather! If it’s a blizzard outside, or if a major storm is looking like it’s going to hit while you’re out, consider staying in! Yes, it can be a drag, but the best way to avoid accidents due to winter conditions is to avoid those winter conditions entirely. It’s a good idea to sign up for weather alerts that are pushed right to your phone, that way you’re never caught off guard but an unexpected snow storm!
Of course, nothing you do will make driving completely safe. That’s why it’s important to have a proper auto-insurance policy! Getting into an accident never fun, don’t compound the problem by being uninsured. The staff at TGS Insurance are experts in auto-insurance and are always willing to speak with you about your insurance needs. Visit www.tgsinsurance.com for more information.