5 Important Winter Driving Tips

By Jesse Sokolow on 18 November 2016
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DSC_0006A major winter storm Friday, moving through parts of the Midwest and Northeast, can mean only one thing: winter is coming. Flights will be cancelled, power will go out, and snow will certainly be falling in many parts of the country over the next few months.

Despite the impending weather, people will still need to get where they are going. For those of you that aren’t flying or taking the bus or train, here are five tips to ensure a safer drive.

1.) Winter tires

If you don’t have winter tires (which used to be called “snow tires”), be sure to purchase some. In case of an emergency they provide significantly better performance in snowy conditions than all-season tires and are necessary for those cars equipped with summer/performance tires. Tire inflation must be checked regularly, as cold temperatures reduce tire pressure.

2.) Raise windshield wipers when parking outdoors

This will prevent the rubber blades from sticking to your windshield and cause damage to the wiper motor, which could burn out from trying to move the blades when encountering resistance from ice and snow accumulation.

3.) When driving on ice and snow

Refrain from using cruise control on slippery surfaces (ice, rain, leaves, and sand), and be sure to accelerate and decelerate slowly. Slowing down on ice and slush takes longer, and if you begin to skid look and steer in the direction you want to go. Finally, don’t stop when driving up a hill, as there is always the possibility of sliding backwards.

4.) Unfreeze your lock

Use a cigarette lighter to warm your metal car key before inserting it into the lock (if your car still requires that step).

5.) In case you get stuck

Always have supplies in your car for emergencies (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)