What to Know about Winter Driving
Compared to the other seasons, driving in the winter can be the most tricky and dangerous. Slippery ice, limited visibility, and other road traps are very possible pitfalls to the driver. Unless you’re a child and don’t have to deal with these types of inconveniences, if you live in a cold state it really can’t be avoided. That’s why it’s important that you educate yourself on winter driving.
Though some people would like to believe that it could never happen to them, it is possible to find yourself with a dead battery and stranded on a snowy, barren road. To be ready for this scenario you will need to prepare a winter emergency kit. Just what should you put inside? Start with a few thick, warm blankets. Should help be delayed, you and your passengers will be able to keep from freezing.
You will also need, believe it or not, kitty litter. The litter can be used for traction to assist in getting unstuck on icy patches and the like. Be sure that you also have a good supply of water and non-perishable food, such as energy bars; you never really know. If you’re concerned about injuries, a first aid kit is also a must. Keep all of these supplies in the trunk of your car.
Another thing you need to be aware of when it comes to winter driving is carbon monoxide poisoning. Before starting up the car, check the tailpipe to see if it’s been obscured by snow. If it has, remove the snow immediately and thoroughly. Why? High levels of carbon monoxide could leak into your car, especially if your car is stored in a garage where air is trapped. If you want to sit in your car while it warms up, keep all windows open, including the garage door. This will insure that you are not at risk.
You may not believe that it’s worth the trouble, but your vehicle should be washed often. The salt they put on the road could lead to rusting of the wheel rims and under the car, which is not something you want.
Don’t forget to have your car inspected. Check the tire pressure, windshield wipers, brakes, and so on, to make sure they function correctly. Otherwise you may learn too late that something doesn’t work, leaving you stranded in the middle of a blizzard or car accident. Your car insurance is important, too.
Finally, know that when it comes to winter driving, you have to have patience. You may be late to that appointment or class, but is it really worth getting injured over? To prevent this, leave early and give yourself plenty of time to reach the destination. Keep a two to three car length distance between yourself and another car, and don’t brake suddenly on ice if you need to stop.
Winter driving can be difficult, but as long as you anticipate any problems and understand what to do, you should be fine. Who can say; you may even find it to be a little fun.
Photo via wheany