5 winter weather driving tips for beginners
Sat, 12/27/2014 - 07:02
If you’re like me and you’ve spent the majority of your adult life in a place that doesn’t have “real winters,” you probably panic at the thought of driving in snow or on ice. If you’re a fellow Floridian, you are more than likely a master at driving in heavy rain but don’t know how that will help you on snow or ice. The good news is that many of the precautions you take while driving in the rain are equally applicable to driving in “real winter” weather. Read the tips below to equip yourself with the proper knowledge to handle “real winter” driving like a pro.
Inspect Your TiresAs always, you should ensure your tires are properly inflated and have a good amount of tread. Ensure you either have all-season or four winter tires.
Ensure VisibilityBefore you take off, de-ice your windshield safely and check to see that your wipers are working. You will also want to top up on windshield washer fluid, since it can be a game changer when it comes to visibility in the snow.
Avoid Using Cruise ControlAnytime you are driving on a wet road, you want to be in complete control of your car. Using cruise control on wet roads can not only distract you from what your car is doing (skidding, hydroplaning, etc.) but it can also cause you to lose control of your car. Keep it simple: stay alert so you can react faster and stay safe.
Take it SlowThe road is wet and your wipers are working overtime. As with driving in any precipitation, you’ll want to take it easy. Slowing down allows you to see better and stop faster, which keeps you and everyone around you safe.
Keep Up With Your Car’s MaintenanceIt’s obviously important to service your car regularly so that it always performs at its peak potential but sometimes we take our car’s functionality for granted. The last place you want to break down is in the middle of a winter storm – think about it: it’s freezing, you can’t turn on the heater and service trucks will more than likely take a very long time to come to your rescue. Simply put, before winter is in full swing, make an appointment with a reliable service center in order to get your winter tune-up taken care of. In addition to tires and wipers mentioned above, here are some things you especially need to be fully functional:
- Battery – The older they are, the more attention they need
- Brakes – Make sure these guys are distributing the load equally
- Cooling System – Hello, fresh anti-freeze
- Engine – This one is only kind of important (I’m kidding)