Winter Driving Tips

When winter weather strikes the best thing to do is to stay home or wherever you may be at the time. But if you absolutely must be driving, then here are some tips from the experts to keep you safe.

First of all, make sure your car is in perfect working order. If you need to be driving in a lot of snowy conditions get four good snow tires.

Know what your car can and cannot do in the snow.

Keep a snow brush, ice scraper, shovel, and a bag of sand in the trunk. Place the sandbag over the rear axle. Add extra windshield washer fluid, a blanket and old clothes and boots as well.

Pack a burlap bag, grocery bag, cardboard, deicer, or fresh cat litter for traction in case you get stuck.

Take extra time to make sure your windows, sideview mirrors and lights are all brushed clean of snow.

Clean the snow off the entire car so it doesn't blow onto your windshield or fly into windshields of other drivers.

Keep gas tank always over half full.

Accelerate, drive, turn and brake slowly and gently.

Leave plenty of distance between you and other cars.

Turn headlights on low beam during daylight. It will make it easier for other drivers to see you.

Try to back into the garage or parking space. Pulling out will be easier than backing out.

Always turn into a skid. If the drive wheels start to spin or slide while going up a hill, ease off on the accelerator slightly and then gently resume speed.

Decelerate well in advance of a turn or stopping point.

When approaching a stop with alternate patches of ice and bare pavement brake as you cross the bare spot and coast over the ice.

Stay at least 15 car lengths (200 feet) back from sanders and plows.

Don't use cruise control or overdrive.

Call ahead and let your destination know your approximate arrival time. Likewise, when you arrive at your destination call and let your family and friends know you have arrived safely.

And lastly, keep your car clean. Corrosive chemicals, salt and gravel are damaging to cars and their exteriors.

For more information on protecting your car during winter weather visit:

Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.