Now that winter is in full force, it’s important to prepare for mother nature’s wrath it throws at us in the upcoming months. Driving in the winter can be an absolute nightmare, and it seems every year people have to educate themselves on what it takes to remain prepared and safe on the road. However, the fact of the matter is that traveling in snow, ice, fog or rain can be a major challenge for even the most experienced motorists. Everyone could use a little refresher when it comes to navigating the slick roads this winter.
The initial step you must take is to ready your vehicle. This includes checking the battery, wipers, coolant, tires and other systems that are most affected when the temperature drops in your vehicle. You have to make sure your tires have good tread, otherwise it’s prone to sliding around the roadways. When you know your vehicle is ready for the road, clear off any snow that is piled up on your car. It becomes a safety hazard to others on the road if you don’t remove it, and can also land you in legal trouble in many states. This also includes removing ice and dirt from your windows as well. It is also important that you stock your vehicle with a winter supply kit. This supply kit includes a phone, charger, batteries, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, first-aid kit, high calorie non-perishable food, small can with matches, sack of sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, windshield scraper and battery booster cables. The final and most important step is to check the weather forecast ahead of time before you hit the roads. Your drive will be much safer if you know what to expect ahead of time, and you should change plans if travel is forecast to be hazardous.
If you do need to hit the roadways when winter weather hits, you must make sure to stay alert. You must make sure to keep your gas tank over half full and keep a close eye on road conditions, which can change rapidly. If you are on a long drive, make sure to take breaks often so you can stay focused on the road. It’s important to drive slower than normal and leave more room between you and surrounding vehicles. You should not use cruise control, brake quickly or make sharp turns as you will slide even with barely any snow or ice on the ground. Finally, you should never use your phone while operating your vehicle under any means, especially in these conditions. Anyone can manage to drive through a snowstorm, if needed, if they educate themselves and follow these steps. At the end of the day, stay off the roads if you can to allow plows to remove snow and ice. It’ll keep you as well as everyone else out of harm’s way.
For more information on weather preparedness and safety, click here!
© 2018 Weather Forecaster Michael Ames