Is it your first time to drive in the snow? Driving in winter can have many challenges if you are not prepared. Here are tips to stay safe in the winter months:
Get your car ready
Start early. Get ready before the first snow fall. Avoid long lines for tires or maintenance check-ups in late November.
Clean your car. Vacuum the carpets, dust off the dashboard, and clean out your trunk. Make space for winter accessories or tools. Replace your floor mats.
Get your car waxed to protect the exterior.
Get a maintenance check. Check your car battery, brakes, windshield wipers, lights, and tires.
Plan your driving
Make it a habit to check weather and road conditions before leaving the house. Listen to the radio or check online.
Leave your house earlier than in summer and fall. Remember, you have to drive slower.
Watch out for extreme weather warnings. Be prepared when an extreme weather warning is up. Have an emergency kit and check if your mobile phone is charged (and bring your car charger). Decide not to leave the house if you have no urgent business for the day.
Warm up your car before driving. Don’t do in a closed garage or any enclosed area. Warming up reduces moisture on the windows.
Be properly dressed for the weather. Wear shades or sunglasses to deflect sunlight.
Prepare a winter driving kit
Gather tools, spare clothes and food for any emergencies and keep them in your trunk.
Your winter driving kit
Extra warm clothing (including hat and dry footwear)
Snack bars, water
First aid kit
Matches and emergency candles (don’t forget to open car windows if you need to light the candles)
Bag of sand, salt or kitty litter
Warning devices (e.g. flares, emergency lights, or brightly colored help signs)
Fuel line de-icer (methanol, also called methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate)
Extra windshield wiper fluid appropriate for sub-freezing temperatures
Learn about winter driving best practices
Winter driving is all about caution and preparation. Know the possible problems so that you can avoid or prepare for them.
Observe safety rules.
Slow down (roads are extra slippery).
Stay alert (especially for black ice).
Know proper steering and braking procedures.
Watch this video for helpful tips on safe winter driving from the AAA: