BE PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING
Before You Go
- If you must travel, make sure you share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave.
- If you become stranded in bad winter weather, do not leave your car. Don’t try to push your vehicle out of snow. Light flares in front and behind the car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or any object.
- Besides checking the weather, it’s important to have a mechanic check the condition of the following vehicle systems before heading out on the road.
- Make sure tires are properly inflated.
- Keep your gas tank filled above halfway to avoid a gas line freeze-up.
- Avoid driving when you have the flu, which can reduce your reaction time almost six times as much as moderate alcohol intake.
Winter Driving Tips
- Beware of black ice. Roads may look clear, but they may still be slippery.
- Stuck without traction and lacking sand or cat litter? In a pinch, you can take the floor mats out of your car, place them next to the tires, and slowly inch the car onto and across the mats.
- Make sure windows are defrosted and clear. And be sure to clear snow and ice from the top of the vehicle! Gently rub a small, moistened, cloth bag of iodized salt on the outside of your windshield to prevent the ice and snow from sticking.
- To restore proper windshield wiper blade action, smooth the rubber blades with fine sandpaper to remove any grit and pits.
- Fog-proof your mirrors and the inside of your windshields with shaving cream. Spray and wipe it off with paper towels.
- Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds.
- If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
- Do not use cruise control in wintry conditions.
- Look and steer in the direction you want to go. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- Know whether you have antilock brakes, which will “pump” the brakes for you in a skid.
- If possible, don’t stop when going uphill.
- Signal distress with a brightly colored cloth tied to the antenna or in a rolled up window.