As much as we may wish to live in a climate where it’s beautiful, warm weather all the time the reality is many of us face winter driving for at least a few months each year. If you don’t love driving when it’s cold and icy out, you aren’t alone – many drivers get very nervous venturing out during the winter months. Here are a few ways you can make sure you stay safe while you’re out and about this winter.

Winter Tires

Some people might say they don’t make a big difference, but having proper winter tires can make driving on the ice and snow a little more comfortable. Make sure they are installed properly and have adequate amount of tread on them so you will be able to stop safely while driving on slippery surfaces. Check with your mechanic to make sure your winter tires are safe for driving before the really cold weather hits.

 Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly

When the roads are slippery or covered with ice, trying to speed up or slow down quickly can cause your car to swerve or for you to lose control of the vehicle. You can’t stop in the same amount of distance on an icy road as you can on a dry road, so adjust your speed and driving accordingly.

Don’t come to a complete stop

When the roads are covered in snow and ice, getting going again after coming to a complete stop can be tough, and this is where a lot of cars end up getting stuck. If you can just slow down to a crawl then you can use some of the remaining inertia to get moving again when it’s safe to do so. Of course, always obey the rules of the road and make sure you are being safe so only keep rolling if it’s safe to do so and you aren’t risking an accident.

Increase your following distance

As previously mentioned, driving on roads covered in snow makes your vehicle’s response time slower and it can also make it hard to keep control over your vehicle. Since you might not be able to stop in the same amount of distance you normally would, increasing your follow time will keep you at a safe distance so you are at a lower risk of an accident.

Stay home

When the weather turns bad, going for joy rides shouldn’t be on the top of your to do list. If the roads are covered in snow and ice then it is recommended to only go out on the road if you absolutely need to. Otherwise, stay home and enjoy the beauty of the snow falling from indoors.

Winter is cold, dark and dreary for everyone: trees lose their leaves, animals hibernate and the sun is out for less time. Driving on the roads in the winter can be dangerous, especially if we don’t take the proper precautions to stay safe out there. By keeping your speed down and increasing your following distance you can ensure you give yourself enough time to appropriately slow down if you need to and be aware of your surroundings!

Up next – How to stay safe while waiting for a tow truck.

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