Winter weather can present serious challenges and dangers to travelers. Avoiding dangerous driving conditions is always a good policy, so as much as possible, stay off the roads when the weather is bad or predicted to be dangerous. If you must venture out, be extra cautious and follow these safe driving tips.
• Know your route and keep informed on road conditions and the weather forecast.
• Travel with a fully charged cell phone, and keep family or friends advised of your route, as well as your departure time and estimated arrival time.
• Keep your tires properly inflated, and keep your gas tank at least half-full to avoid frozen gas lines.
• Do not use cruise control when driving in slippery conditions (heavy rain, ice or snow).
Create a Winter Safety Kit
• Keep blankets and extra jackets, gloves and head coverings in your vehicle during cold weather, in case you get delayed or stranded in the cold.
• Take extra snacks, drinks and any necessary medications in your vehicle when traveling in winter.
• Keep a working flashlight and extra batteries in your vehicle at all times, along with a good ice scraper, snow brush and can of
• Take a bag of cat litter in your vehicle for use in gaining traction if your wheels start spinning on ice or packed snow.
While Driving in Adverse Conditions
• Drive slowly, and keep an eye on other vehicles around you.
• Accelerate and slow down slowly and evenly. When on slippery roads, give yourself plenty of room and time to slow down and stop.
• If you start to skid, don’t hit your breaks—instead, gently steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.
If You Get Snowbound or Stranded
• To conserve gasoline, run the engine just long enough to remove the chill.
• Stay with your vehicle, rather than trying to walk in deep or blowing snow—your vehicle can provide shelter and make it easier for you to be spotted. Tie a colored piece of cloth around your antenna or place it in your window to help make you more visible.
• Make sure your exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud, and keep something in the vehicle that will allow you to unclog the exhaust pipe, if needed.