Winter is here and it’s going to be here for a while. And I know we have winter every year but I think it’s important to go through winter survival tips and do a once over of your car before you head out on the roads during this frigid time of year. Cold affects metal, rubber and other materials in your car. It can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s battery by at least 50 percent. It can freeze tires and keep them flat on the bottom for at least the first half-mile of travel. It can thicken your car’s lubricants, making the engine work too hard. Most importantly, extreme winter weather can threaten your life. Follow these tips to stay safe as you drive this winter.
Plan out your trips before you leave the house. My brother lives about 40 minutes away in the country. When we go to visit him I usually call him when we leave the house so that he knows when to expect us and if we are not there in 40ish minutes to start calling us and seeing what’s up. He also knows the route we drive so if we do not arrive he knows where to start looking for us.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Be sure your vehicle is in good winter driving condition. Make sure you have completed all your routine maintenance and had your service center check your vehicle over for any repairs that may be needed. Keep your gas tank at least one-half full. I try to keep my gas tank as full as possible.
Check the Weather
Whenever you are going out in the winter months be aware of the weather. It can change quickly and be aware of your area. High winds can create snow drifts several feet high when there were just a few inches of snowfall.
Increase Your Following Distance
Snow and ice can make it harder to stop so be sure to increase your distance between cars. I like to keep about 3 car lengths between me and other cars when it’s snowing out. If it’s icy I may even go up to 5 car lengths.
Make Turns Slowly and Gradually
This may sound intuitive but slow down! When taking turns during the winter slow down before you take a turn and turn slowly. No aggressive turns as this could cause you to slide or spin out.
Turn in the Direction of the Skid
If the rear of your car begins to slide, turn into the direction of the skid. Expect a second skid as the car straightens out, and be prepared to counter this sliding action.
These are just a few tips to help keep you safe this winter.