Shifting into Winter Driving Mode

December 19, 2018

Winter Car Kit

According to the Department of
Transportation, every vehicle should
contain at least the following items
during the winter season:

  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit
  • Cellphone charger
  • Boots and gloves
  • Ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets
  • Flares

Driving in winter conditions can present a variety of safety concerns. As a result, it’s imperative to take the following steps to ensure your vehicle is working properly before taking it on the road.

  • Make sure your tires are in good shape – check tread for good traction on slippery surfaces. Tire Business magazine recommends at least 4/32 of an inch of tread depth for winter.
  • Check your fluid levels – make sure to top off windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze and oil.
  • Inspect your windshield wipers – check for cracks and wear to help ensure they are providing the proper visibility. Remember to always replace wipers in pairs.

Operating a vehicle requires all the care and caution possible at any time of the year. However, winter driving can be even a greater challenge because of wet and icy road surfaces, longer hours of darkness, and poor visibility due to snow, rain, sleet and fog. Below are a few tips for driving safely in winter conditions:

  • Maintain a longer distance behind the vehicle in front of you. It will give you more time to brake or swerve if the car ahead stops suddenly.
  • Accelerate and brake smoothly. You also should start braking early and avoid sudden turns.
  • Reduce speed – which will help you avoid slips and skids.
  • Allow extra time to commute to work in the morning or to get to other destinations. Rushing in difficult driving conditions can lead to an accident.
  • Check your fuel before leaving on a trip. It’s always safer to travel with a full tank of gas.