The winter season always results in many challenges being handed your way. It’s much colder outside and the weather can be unpredictable and rough. However, you simply cannot act like a bear and hibernate. Life goes on as usual and you need to get out and about your daily business. If you have to drive and there is a winter storm brewing or it has already snowed, you have to be especially careful. Here are a few winter driving tips to keep you safer.
Slow Down and Give More Space
Obviously, one of the first things you should do when you’re driving in wintry weather is to slow down when you’re on the road. Reducing your speed can help in the event that your car suddenly slides on snow or ice and lessens the severity of an accident if one occurs. You should also take extra care to give more space than usual between you and the car directly ahead. If you have to suddenly stop, or the vehicle in front of you does, that additional bit of room can prevent a rear-end collision.
Get Servicing for Your Car
If you haven’t already done so, you should get your car seasonal maintenance at your local auto mechanic. This can ensure that your vehicle is up to par to travel safely on the road during the winter. You want to make sure all the parts will run properly, and that you won’t have a problem such as getting stalled while on the highway. Have your oil, tires and tire pressure checked to ensure the car will be able to handle maneuvering on snowy, icy roads.
If you do run into trouble on the road and your car unexpectedly breaks down, you may find yourself facing emergency repair costs. Depending on the state of your personal finances, you may not have the savings on hand to cover the unexpected expense. Luckily, there are short-term financing options that can help you tackle the emergency repairs, from credit cards to bad credit loans from direct lenders. Make sure to also create a repayment plan on the loan to stay ahead of the game, and work to build a savings account to be better prepared for these situations moving forward.
Winterize Your Car
In addition to getting general servicing, you need to also winterize your car. This means you must ensure that your gas, oil and brake fluid are up to date and half full. You want to avoid a completely full fuel tank during the winter, especially when you have a long trip ahead of you.
Check the Weather Ahead of Time
Always check the weather forecast and report ahead of time prior to going out on the road. If you know what to expect, you can more easily plan your route before going out. This can spare you a lot of time and trouble once you’re outside and hit the road. Plan ahead for at least one alternate route to get to your destination if the weather is supposed to be bad.
Know How to Handle Your Car in Certain Situations
If you are driving on slippery, icy roads, it’s possible to lose control of your car even in the best of conditions. Although it might feel like a natural instinct to immediately steer in the opposite direction, this can lead to a spinout and an accident. Instead, don’t panic and raise your foot off the brake and accelerator. Turn your steering wheel straight to help your wheels get back traction. Then, you can gently tap the brake to slow down.
Keep Supplies in the Trunk
It’s a good idea to keep at least basic winter weather car supplies in your trunk or backseat in the event of an emergency. At the very least, you should keep a brush and scraper to remove snow and ice, extra windshield wiper fluid and tire chains if you live in an area that requires them. You may even want to store a blanket just in case your vehicle breaks down.
These winter driving tips can help you to stay safer this season while on the road.