Posted by: safedriver | January 15, 2014

Winter driving “do’s”

DSC02354I recently wrote about a few of the common things that drivers need to stop doing while driving in winter weather, so I thought it would be a good time to write about things that we, as drivers should do. To some, this may seem like common sense, but experience has shown me this isn’t always the case. See how many things you do as a driver.

There’s always a chance your vehicle may break down in the winter weather. For this reason it’s a good idea to have a membership for roadside assistance. This membership can help you if your battery dies and you need a boost or perhaps you’ve run out of gas. They can provide a bit of gas to help you reach the next gas station. They can also help you if you have a flat tire. Consider it an investment in your winter driving sanity.

Another thing you should do in the winter is to have a personal winter driving survival kit. Most of these things you could find at home. This is different than the vehicle kit most drivers would have. Some items you may consider putting into this personal kit would include extra gloves and socks, long underwear, toilet paper, non-perishable foods, a book, candle with lighter, mug, hand warmers and perhaps a facecloth. These items can help you stay comfortable until help arrives.

We all see vehicles on the road that still have a lot of snow all over the vehicle. Clear it all off before leaving. If you know snow will be falling overnight, get up a little earlier so you can have time to clear off everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. Make it look as if your vehicle has been sitting in a garage all night.

The continuous slippery roads during winter weather means it can take longer to stop your vehicle. For this reason, increase your minimum following distance behind another vehicle. On ideal road surfaces in the city the minimum safe following distance would be two seconds behind the driver ahead of you. On the highway or freeway it would be three seconds. When the roads are slippery, at least double that space in front of you. This gives you enough space to react and stop in case of an emergency. Adjust your speed accordingly to road conditions.

When you can be seen by other road users it can make it safer for both you and them. For this reason, clean off your headlights and taillights and not just your windows and mirrors. Stopping in at the gas station and using their squeegee to clean those lenses every few days will help to make your vehicle more noticeable to other road users. Having your headlights clean will also make it easier to see at night on dark roads.

Park your vehicle so it’s facing the road or parking lot aisle. This makes it easier to enter those roadways and improves your visibility when doing so. Also, if your battery does need a boost, it’s easier accessible.

These are only a few things that drivers should do while driving in the winter season. The main thing is to keep your mind on your driving and make changes to allow you to drive safely in winter weather.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this post, I think a lot of people don’t do a lot of these. Here in Canada, winter is half the year and if we don’t take care of ourselves and our vehicles we could put ourselves into some serious predicaments. There is more tragedy on the highways during the winter then any other season. So let’s take care out there, be smart and safe.

  2. What would you suggest as an appropriate speed within city limits for new drivers or l drivers learning in winter conditions?


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