Snowy conditions present some of the most challenging moments for drivers, and if you aren’t prepared with both experience and expert tips, you may experience anxiety and panic, which can lead to driver mistakes.
Let’s face it, snow equals slippery. Not just for you, but for other drivers. Therefore, it is prudent to have affordable full coverage car insurance you can trust. Savvy buyers obtain car insurance quotes that reflect their needs. Read on for a variety of other suggestions that will keep you road ready this winter.
- Clear Off Your Car Completely. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to put your car in a garage or somewhere out of the weather, it’s going to get buried in snow. Resist the urge to clear off just the windshield and then hop in your vehicle and go. You will want to make sure to clear off all of the windows, the top of the car, the hood, and of course, the lights. It not only stops chunks of snow from flying off your car onto other cars, it also allows you to see and be seen by other drivers.
- Always Have a Half Tank of Gas. Regardless of whether you’re a half full or half empty type person, always keeping your gas tank at least at the halfway mark will keep condensation from forming inside the empty portion of your tank. If the tank freezes, ice will form in your fuel lines and it will be impossible to start your car.
- Everyone Needs a Little More Space. During normal driving conditions, drivers should be giving themselves enough space for about 4-5 seconds of stopping time. In bad weather conditions such as ice, snow, and rain, drivers should double that amount of time. Usually, at any given time, you aren’t able to tell how long it will actually take you to stop your vehicle or at least slow down, so the additional time and space will go a long way in keeping everyone safe.
- Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car. Think about the items you might need if you were to break down or become stranded. You would want extra blankets, hats, gloves or even coats, flashlight with working batteries, foldable shovel, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. It’s wise to keep a phone charger, maps, an ice scraper and kitty litter or sand (for traction). Nobody wants to get into an accident or find themselves stranded on the side of the road. But if it does happen, it will be less stressful if you are prepared for the cold and have other necessities.
- Put a Weather App on Your Phone. Unless you’re living in a cave somewhere you more than likely will see plenty of warnings ahead of time for upcoming storms. However, if you live in an area where there is unpredictable lake effect snow, that warning time could be mere minutes, which means setting your notifications on for a reliable weather app could give you just the heads up you need.
- Don’t Use the Cruise Control. If you do a lot of highway driving you might have become accustomed to utilizing the cruise control. While it does save gas and makes driving pretty much effortless, it isn’t a good idea during the winter. Cruise control is like turning the car over to auto pilot, and in times of wind, snow, ice and rain, it is best that you have control of the car instead.
- Increase Your Travel Time. When winter is in its full glory you should never be in a hurry to get to your destination. Figure out ahead of time how much extra time you could need to get to where you are going. Doubling travel time is not a bad idea depending on how far you’re going and how bad it is on the road.
- Clear the Exhaust Pipe. Snow and ice can easily block the exhaust pipe and create a condition for carbon monoxide to filter into the car cabin, as opposed to exiting the exhaust pipe as it is supposed to. Periodically check the pipe for blockage, especially if it’s been snowing or after a storm. Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and invisible so it would be impossible to know if it is poisoning you and your passengers until it’s too late.
Even when you have considerable winter driving experience under your belt, don’t underestimate the importance of following the guidelines necessary to get through winter storms and over snowy roads safely.