How to Handle Driving in Winter Weather

A bike sitting against a tree covered in snow.

Winter brings with it a number of treacherous driving conditions. Snow, ice, black ice, hail, and extreme winds are all part of living in any cold climate. When it comes to driving in those conditions, there are a few things that any new driver (or older driver!) should know about how to handle the roads. Take a look at these important tips.

  • Keep extra distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Tailgating during the wintertime is not a good idea, no matter how much traffic you’re facing. Driving too close to another car during any other month isn’t a good idea either, but ice and snow make stopping really hard. If the person in front of you has to slam on her brakes, you’ll collide quickly – why chance that? You could also start to slide when trying to stop, and that might mean causing a pile up if you are too close to the car in front of you.
  • Do not break if you start to slide. If your car starts to slide on some ice, do not apply the breaks. Instead, take your foot off of the gas pedal, and try to steer in the right direction. Hitting the breaks will simply cause your car to spin, and that’s not a good idea.
  • Keep sand or kitty litter in your car at all times. Anything abrasive will help you gain traction when it’s really icy outside. Just spread some sand or litter on that icy patch, and you should have more traction — just don’t do this if you are in the middle of a highway.
  • Your gas tank should always be half full. During the winter months, not having at least half a tank of gas means that your gas line could freeze.
  • Windshield washer fluid should always be full, and you should keep an extra bottle in your trunk. With all of that dirt, slush, and snow, you’ll use a lot!
  • When you have to speed up, do so slowly. Never hit the brakes hard when you are driving in winter weather.
  • Install a back up camera. It’s hard enough to see the people that might cross in back of your car during a blizzard, make sure that you can see everything that’s happening outside of your car at all times with a backup camera. If you don’t have a backup camera system, make sure to install one. If you do have one, use it!
  • Be alert and aware. Extra caution is needed when driving during the wintertime. If you are tempted to use your phone, do your makeup in the mirror, or become otherwise distracted on a regular basis, put all of that stuff aside during the winter months.
  • Watch for cyclists. Some people are adventurous enough to cycle when the snow is falling and ice has covered the city streets. Not all bicycles that are out on the streets during the wintertime are winter ready, though, and that means that you have to be extra careful. Keep in mind that ice and snow may cause a cyclists to veer. So, even though that line of traffic in back of you might honk if you go slowly in order to give a cyclist space, keep in mind that they have the right to take up the road too. In the end, safety is what matters most – not how much that guy in back of you is yelling.

The Importance of a Backup Camera

So many things during the wintertime can make visibility difficult. Not only do cameras help when it comes to seeing people and other cars, but you may not see something (like a cement pole) that’s covered in snow unless you use a camera. Call us today to purchase a camera, and keep everyone inside of your car (and on the road!) safe.