Three Tips for Safer Winter Driving

by Admin - Posted 1 year ago

Whether you love the snow and cold weather, or maybe you’d prefer to hibernate until the springtime, winter is here. Anyone who’s lived in Cincinnati for any number of years will tell you that you never quite know what to expect between December and May. While some winters may be mild, with little more than cold rain and dreary skies to deal with, others have dropped feet of snow, ice and sleet on greater Cincinnati. Winter storms and messy roads are nothing to be taken lightly. According to AAA, they are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 deaths every winter.


So, before you head out the door this winter, make sure you’re prepared to handle what lies on the roads ahead. Besides having a reliable vehicle and keeping up with your maintenance, be sure to follow these three tips for safer winter driving.


Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into


Far too often, drivers are caught by surprise with severe winter weather. This leads to an unnecessarily large amount of vehicles on the roadways when a snowstorm hits, causing traffic jams and pileups that can leave drivers stranded in their cars for hours or more.


We’re not saying you have to be glued to weather reports all winter, but consider making a quick check of the forecast a part of your daily routine. While the news often doesn’t get it exactly right, they can give you an idea of what days to keep a close eye on. And when they do get it right, don’t take any unnecessary chances. If you can avoid driving through a snowstorm, you might thank yourself later when you’re warm and at home instead of sitting in stopped traffic on I-75.


Take It Easy


Maybe you can’t avoid traveling in the snow, or even worse, you’d like to see how your SUV handles in icy conditions. Either way, now is not the time to begin your career in the racing circuit. Regardless of the type of vehicle you drive, it will perform differently when the roads are covered in ice. Even with antilock braking and snow tires, your car will take longer to come to a complete stop. So be sure to watch your speed, and if there’s a car ahead of you, please leave plenty of distance to avoid a collision.

Cars tend to lose traction most often when you’re speeding up and braking, so do both gradually. If you need to climb a hill, try to wait until it’s clear and you build up momentum so that you can get up the hill without coming to a stop or using extra gas on the hillside.


Expect the Best, But Prepare for the Worst


There’s nothing worse than panicked driving in a snowstorm. So stay cool and calm, accept that you might be delayed, and go with the flow. But in the event that something does happen, whether an accident or a mechanical issue that keeps you from getting where you need to go, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Along with your ice scraper, throw an extra jacket, gloves and hat in the backseat of your car and keep them there all winter. It wouldn’t hurt to have a bottle of water and some non-perishable food as well. Keep your cell phone charged up, and if you’re going to be driving through some winter weather, let someone know where you’re going and when you should be there.


Prepare your mind for the drive as well. You’ll need to be extra sharp to get where you’re going safely. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is always a bad idea, but it makes what’s already a dangerous trip even more deadly for yourself, your passengers and the other drivers on the road.


If you’re in need of a new-to-you vehicle to help get you through this winter, we invite you to contact us today and give us a chance!