Winter is here. Yes, we can already hear the groans (and possibly the occasional cheer of excitement for those who absolutely love this season), but for most people, it means dealing with the cold, snow, ice, and of course winter driving. The more experience a person has behind the wheel, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are safer, especially during winter driving conditions.
We wanted to put together a few tips that can help you and others maintain safe winter driving habits that can protect you, passengers in your car, other vehicles on the road with you, and even pedestrians.
First, pay attention to forecasts.
It’s a good habit to get into to pay attention to the weather forecast. Sure, they are often wrong, but with the latest technology they are getting things right more often than they are getting them wrong. When you pay attention to these forecasts, you will be aware that things could turn treacherous in the afternoon while you’re at work, for example.
It may be more prudent if your boss allows to head home early and avoid the worst part of winter driving. You could always make those hours up by working from home, going in early the next day, or possibly putting in for a weekend day in the future, if you have that kind of job.
Second, slow down.
It’s unfortunate that so many people assume since they have four-wheel-drive they are going to somehow stop faster. Whether you have two wheel or four-wheel-drive makes absolutely no difference in how effective your vehicle is at stopping, especially in winter conditions.
You will slide, and the best antilock braking systems will prevent that with extremely slick conditions. Also, with antilock braking, your stopping time is extended, possibly significantly so.
Third, make sure you have good winter tires.
If you haven’t had your tires checked, bring your vehicle into an authorized service center, like Bimmex, and have them inspected. If it’s time to make a change, choose high quality all season or specifically engineered winter tires to improve traction and stopping power.
Finally, get a tune-up.
Have your vehicle tuned up and ready for the winter season. This might include changing the coolant/antifreeze, having the oil changed, having the brakes inspected, and checking all of your lights, wiper blades, and other components to ensure your vehicle will be as safe as possible throughout the season.