There are three important keys to driving safe in the winter; stay alert, slow down, and have control of your vehicle. Also remember to keep your gas tank sufficiently full – at least half a tank is recommended. Winter driving conditions such as rain, snow, and ice dramatically affect the braking distance of a vehicle. When handling slippery winter roads, the keys to safety are slower speeds, gentler stops and turns, and increased following distances. It is recommended that drivers reduce their speed to half the posted speed limit or less under snowy road conditions.
Tire pressure usually lowers itself in winter and raises itself in summer. Under-inflated tires can cause a car to react more slowly to steering. Every time the outside temperature drops ten degrees, the air pressure inside your tires goes down about one or two PSI. Tires lose air normally through the process of permeation. Drivers should check their tire pressures frequently during cold weather, adding enough air to keep them at recommended levels of inflation at all times.
Sand and salt play a big role in keeping roads safe. The spreading of road salt prevents snow and ice from bonding to the road surface, which is why salt is usually spread early in a storm to prevent snow build-up and to aid in snow removal operations. You will want to leave enough room around snowplows to make sure that you do not run into them or have an accident. Being aware of the road condition, weather condition, and surroundings are important.
Correctly operating windshield wipers and defrosters are essential to safety while driving in snow and ice conditions. Properly maintained windshield wipers are a must; there are also special blades available that are better equipped to assist in the removal of snow from the windshield. Defroster effectiveness is essential in the initial clearing of snow and ice from the windshield – and in some instances the rear window when a vehicle is so equipped – and should be checked well in advance of need. If you notice an issue with your vehicle or how it is heating, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.