5 Winter Storm Driving Survival Tips

By Paul Riegler on 2 February 2015
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BMW 335d with winter tires on the Roßfeldhöhenringstraße

BMW 335d with winter tires on the Roßfeldhöhenringstraße

The recent onslaught of severe winter weather means that drivers have to take extra precautions.

Here are five tips that will ensure a safer drive.

1.)       Winter tires
Make sure to have winter tires (which were used to be called “snow tires”) fitted to your car. They provide significantly better performance in snowy conditions than all-season tires and are necessary for those cars with summer/performance tires. Be sure to check tire inflation regularly, cold temperatures reduce tire pressure.

2.)       Raise windshield wipers when parking outdoors
Raising your wipers allows you to clean your windshield without the blades being in the way. It also prevents the rubber blades from sticking to the windshield and damage to the wiper motor which could burn out from trying to move the blades when encountering resistance from ice and snow accumulation on the windshield.

3.)       When driving
Do not use cruise control on slippery surfaces (ice, rain, leaves, and sand). Allow for changing conditions. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.  Slowing down on ice and slush takes longer. If you begin to skid, look and steer in the direction you want to go. Finally, don’t stop when driving up a hill.

4.)       Unfreeze your lock
Use a cigarette lighter to warm your metal car key before inserting it into the lock (for those cars that still require that step).

5.)       Just in case you get stuck
Always bring supplies along (snacks, water, medications, blankets, gloves, shovel, and ice scraper). If you do get stuck, stay with the vehicle and wait for road assistance.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)