Driving in inclement weather is never ideal for anyone. You might prefer to stay home and cuddle up near a warm fire, drinking your hot cocoa, rather than being out and about on the potentially hazardous roads. However, this is not always an option, life does not stop, and just because the ways are wrong doesn’t always mean that you can stay home. Going to work is a necessity, so the best thing to do is make sure that you are driving safely during harsh weather conditions like rain, sleet, or snow.

You will always want to have a good idea of how to approach driving in inclement weather to keep yourself and your passengers safe. We all deal with crazy drivers on the road, and there will likely be more accidents when the roads are slick and icy, but if you have a comprehensive list of safe driving tips to refer back to, you can learn to avoid risky situations. Making quick, safe driving decisions when you are out on the road during these times is essential to preventing accidents.

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Below are seven tips to help you drive safely on snowy and icy roads during the wintertime.

1. A Breakdown Guide

First and foremost, you will want a remote area breakdown guide to help you navigate a potential sudden breakdown of your car. Some of you might have gone through this before, and some might not, but the key here is always to be prepared. Breaking down is not something that we expect to happen to us, but being prepared for this potential situation could diffuse panic more efficiently, and help you formulate a plan of action.

Have a safety kit in the back of your car, that includes tools to change your tires like a jack, spare tire, and a manual lift. Your safety kits should consist of first aid supplies, warm blankets, sleeping bags, flares, safety cones, lighters, canned foods, a pot, to name only a few essential items.

2. Zero and Sub Zero Temperatures

Believe it or not, it is much more treacherous to drive outside during the wintertime when the temperature is near zero as opposed to sub-zero temperatures. This is because there is usually a layer of water that sits on top of the ice when the temperature is close to zero. This makes the roads much more slippery due to the excess water and lubrication on the streets. Sub-zero temperatures make sure that all the excess water sitting on top of the ice, actually turns into ice. 

3. Drive Safely on Roads Around Bodies of Water

Much like tip number two, you will want to be extra careful driving on roadways that are near any rivers, large creeks, lakes, or any other bodies of water. The water gets carried onto the roads, which then freezes very quickly. These areas of the road will freeze before any other part of the roadway and therefore make it more dangerous to drive on, especially if you are not expecting to drive over a frozen patch of road.

In regions of the world where salt is put on roads to break up ice and snow accumulation, washing your car consistently and thoroughly prevents the salts from creating corrosion on the undercarriage and body of the car. Fall and spring debris that tens to fall on cars and stick, can create environments for rust and corrosion. 

4. Top Up Your Washer Fluid

Making sure that your washer fluid tank is full and always topped up is essential during the winter, snowy months. You will probably use a lot of washer fluid during these times of the year because you will always need to clear your windshield from getting sprayed by the cars in front of you on the roadway. You do not want to be on the road if you are unable to quickly clear your windshield of rain, sleet, snow, and debris while driving. This is extremely dangerous as you need to be able to see the road and the cars in front of you while in a moving vehicle.

5. Drive Gently

You will want to use your primary controls like your steering wheel, gas, and breaks as gently as possible. If you speed up, brake abruptly, turn your steering wheel too quickly you could lose control of your car. Avoid losing control by driving slowly and using your primary controls as lightly as possible. 

6. Break Early and Slowly

During slippery conditions, you will need to make sure that you are always aware of breaking much earlier than usual. Breaking with extra space, then slowly rolling up to where you are required to stop is a much safer way to handle your car during these times. Avoid slamming on the breaks as you will likely begin to skid or hydroplane and lose control over your car.

7. Fill Up Your Tank

Always make sure that you have close to a full tank of gas in your car at all times during the wintertime. Should an unfortunate situation arise where you become stranded, you should never drop below a quarter tank of gas in your car, always be prepared with enough in the tank!

About the Author

Craig Evans

Guest Blogger

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Driving in inclement weather is never ideal for anyone. You might prefer to stay home and cuddle up near a warm fire, drinking your hot cocoa, rather than being out and about on the potentially hazardous roads. However, this is not always an option, life does not stop, and just because the ways are wrong doesn't always mean that you can stay home.

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