Winter Driving Safety Tips

When winter hits, so does a lot of difficult driving dilemmas –  from heavy snow and ice to below-zero temperatures.  According to the National Weather Service, icy roads can lead to an increase in traffic accidents. To help stay safe on the roads, brush up on your winter car driving know-how with these safety tips.

This post is sponsored by East Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

1. Build a Winter Car Emergency Kit
It’s always good to be prepared for emergencies while you are on the road. Keep a winter emergency kit in your car with necessities such as a snow shovel, a brush, warning flares, reflective triangles, a bag of kitty litter (or sand), extra clothes, gloves, hand warmers, hats, thermal blankets, snacks, water, and an emergency battery for your cell phone. Also make sure you have a first-aid kit (that’s been updated). Put it in plastic container and keep it in your trunk!

2. Check Your Tires
When temps fluctuate, so does the pressure in your tires. You have to make sure that they are inflated properly, and check your tire pressure at least once a month. Depending on your area, you may want to invest in winter tires. If not, ensure you have a safe enough tread depth for road conditions.

3. Avoid Spinning Out on Ice 
As you know, slick surfaces require a longer stopping distance  – so make sure that you keep a greater-than-usual distance between your car and others when on snowy and icy roads. This will give you ample time to respond to the road and weather hazards; make gentle accelerations and practice braking to maintain a consistent traction. If your wheels begin to spin, release the gas until traction returns. Do not hit gas or brake until you have control of your car again. . and stay calm!

4. Maintain Your Car’s Battery 
Engine’s oil thickens as temps drop – the thicker the oil, the more power your battery requires, especially if the battery is over 3 years old. I keep a battery booster in the car for emergencies, and it’s came in handy more than once.

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