Driving in winter weather is dangerous anytime but especially if you live in an area that doesn’t sleet or snow very often. You most likely didn’t learn from your parents, and you wouldn’t know a snow tire if you saw one. Unfortunately, every now and again, winter weather comes to normally warm climates, so it’s best to freshen up on your cold weather driving skills before heading out.
If you’re not used to driving in snow, you need to stay hyper-vigilant like when you were a new driver. Put aside everything else you might worry about such as the cost of hail damage repair Denver CO or whether you left the cat out. Your eyes, ears and mind should be totally focused on smooth, slow even driving. Pretend the whole world is a school zone if you have to. You may be anxious to get where you’re going, but if you speed, your chances of an accident increase greatly.
Put the Brakes On
Don’t literally drive with your brakes on, but instead give yourself tons of stopping room. If you hit a patch of ice, your 4,000-pound vehicle will slide right into the middle of an intersection like a player stealing 3rd base, and there will be little you can do to stop it. If you double or triple your usual amount of braking space, you may still slide, but hopefully not into anything but your empty lane.
Keep an Ice Scraper
An ice scraper takes up only a tiny amount of room in your trunk, so there is no reason not to have one. You may only need to pull it out once every couple of years, but you will be so happy you have it. Credit cards and fingernails make poor substitutes. Although pouring hot water on your windshield may seem like a good idea, the reality is that the temperature change can widen cracks in the glass.
Practice, If You Can
Knowing how your car handles on ice and snow gives you one more tool to work with as you navigate the roads safely. If there is an empty parking lot nearby, practice breaking and turning (slowly) before you get out on the road.
Watch the Truckers
If you notice that all the professional drivers have exited the highway during bad weather, then it’s probably time for you to do so also. They drive for a living, so if they feel the conditions are unsafe, you should follow suit.
The safest place to be during a winter storm is in your cozy home. If you must go out, do so carefully and thoughtfully. Stay alert and don’t take any unnecessary risks.