Winter Driving Tips
When leaves begin to fall . . .
- Refill antifreeze
- Check your brakes
- Replace wiper blades
- Check your battery
- Refill washer fluid
- Before you leave, check the forecast and let someone know your route of travel
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent gas line freezing
- Tires: chains provide the most traction followed by studded tires (legal October 1st through May 1st) and regular snow tires
- Carry a winter survival kit which should include: blankets, flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or a bag of cat litter), shovel, candle and matches, non-perishable high calorie foods (nuts, raisins, and candy bars), newspapers (for insulation), a first aid kit and jumper cables.
If you should become stranded:
- Don’t leave your car - it’s the best protection you have!
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna.
- Roll down a window a small amount.
- Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Leave the dome light on at night to aid search parties.
- Don’t panic - an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
Drive According to . . . Road Conditions
- Allow extra time to get where you’re going
- Clear all windows of ice and snow
- Remove snow from hood, roof and lights
- Slow steady starts prevent needless spinning of the wheels
- Pavement is twice as slippery at 32° as it is at 0°
- Beware of bridges, underpasses, overpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
- Slow down - it increases traction
- Avoid abrupt stops and starts – slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid getting stuck
- Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice
- Wet pavement can cause hydroplaning at speeds as low as 35 mph - wheels may lose contact with the pavement causing a skid or spin
- Wear your safety belt at all times
- Don’t tailgate -- always leave a safety cushion of at least two car lengths per 10 mph you’re traveling
- When braking on ice apply gentle but firm pressure without locking brakes
- Watch for pedestrians - poor visibility and slippery conditions provide hazardous walkways and crossings
- Anticipate others’ actions
- To regain control during a skid, release brakes and gently steer the car in the direction of skid
Please Remember . . .
- Adding weight to the back of your vehicle may alter its handling capabilities.
- Don’t decrease tire pressure to increase traction. The only thing this increases is wear on the tires!