Safe Winter Driving

Use these tips to make winter driving safe!

If you live in the Northern regions, you know that Old Man Winter will be coming along soon to make driving conditions more hazardous in the upcoming winter months. You can be prepared,though, for his spells of snow, ice, and sleet by following the safety tips in this article.

The first thing you will need to prepare yourself is to keep a "Winter Survival Kit" in the trunk of your car. This kit needs to consist of a bag of kitty litter, a flashlight with extra batteries, a warm blanket, a pair of warm gloves, emergency flares, and a small shovel. The kitty litter and the shovel will come in handy if your are ever stuck on snow or ice. The kitty litter can be sprinkled under the wheel or wheels that are spinning in order to give them added traction. Likewise with the shovel, it can be used to dig out excess snow from around the tires so you can get the car moving again.

Next, you will need to make sure your car is ready by taking it to a mechanic and having him give it a "Pre-Winter Check Up." This will include checking the tires, replacing worn windshield wiper blades, filling-up the windshield washer reservoir, flushing out the radiator and refilling it with a protective anti-freeze solution, checking all of the belts and hoses, and checking the battery.

A good set of snow tires is recommended for maxiumum traction in the snow,but a good set of all-season radials will do almost as good fo a job. The most important thing to remember is not to try to get around this winter on bald or badly-worn tires.

Replacing worn windshield wipers will help to increase your visibility this winter. After all, you can take every other precaution to prepare for hazardous driving, but if you can't see where you are going, then you are going to have a terrible problem. That's the same reason for filling-up and keeping your windshield wiper fluid reservoir full of plenty of fluid. You will need this fluid to clean off the salt and grime that accumulates on your windshield from winter driving. Make sure that you use fluid which is specially designed for cold weather temperatures. Otherwise, it could turn into ice on your windshield and further hinder your sight.

Driving safely in the winter conditions takes a calm mind, a steady hand, and remembering some important tips:

First, before you even get into your car to drive, make sure to clean off all of the snow and ice accumulations. This is important as the windows and lights need to be completely cleared off for maximum visibility. Also, your lights need to be cleaned off so the other cars can see you!

While driving, if you feel your car sliding into a skid, take your foot off of the gas pedal and try to steer your car out of the skid. Do this by steering the car in the same direction as the skid. Remain calm and do not slam on the brakes or accelerate. Turn the steering wheel in a controlled manner, and not in quick, jerky movements.

Rememberthat ice takes much longer to stop on than snow. When you find yourself on an icy road, remember to stay calm. Donot slam on the brakes, and do not steer the car in quick, jerky movements. Apply the brakes gently only as you need to in order to keep control of the car.

Be prepared, stay calm, and have a safe winter.

© High Speed Ventures 2011