Winter is a beautiful season with many activities and fun challenges. As a driver, you can agree that winter is not the easiest season of all when it comes to keeping the car on the road. Today, we are going to talk about driving tips in the winter that can be useful when the snow white layer falls. We all know that the frost queen loves to play with motorists and her patience, and she likes to test her skills and her cars.
Who does not like to ski or sledge in white snow? You load your entire family in the car and start driving to a winter destination where you are supposed to have the best weekend. Sitting in front of the fireplace, in the night, away from the cold outside, looking out the window and admiring the blanket of snow, gliding down the slope like a gazelle on steep rocks, having fun with family and friends; This is what winter is all about.
However, if you do not know what the driving conditions are in the winter and how to prepare the car for such conditions, you may not get there. Your winter holidays can change and become a winter nightmare in a matter of seconds.
During the winter, it’s worth being prepared. Before getting into your car and leaving your home, you need to do a full check. You must ensure that everything complies with the driving safety regulations in winter. Those rules are not there just to bother you, they exist for a reason. Just consider this situation: ignore all the tips and regulations and go on a trip, without being prepared for the winter.
Suddenly, the road becomes slippery and you can no longer keep the car on the road. When he slips out of the lanes, he hooks another car and takes it with him. Now, they could have been prepared, but due to their ignorance and lack of preparation, they also have to suffer. Are you ready for such responsibility on your head?
Nobody has to ignore the safety advice to drive in winter. It is your part, as a responsible adult, with a driver’s license, to keep roads and streets safe. Being a good and responsible citizen can save lives. If you are responsible enough to take care of your car during the winter, the rescue teams will have one less case and the maintenance teams will be able to do their work without having to correct their mistakes. A little planning in advance can save you a lot of trouble.
How to prepare your car for the winter.
As we said before, winter is one of the most challenging seasons for both people and cars. The cars have to go through blizzards, frosts, snow, large temperature differences, etc. If there are mechanical or electrical problems, winter is the season in which your car breaks down and leaves you hanging on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. If this had happened during the summer, it would not have been so important. You can look at the stars and enjoy the cricket song in the grass.
During the winter, things change radically: if the engine breaks down and the car does not start, it can not be heated. The rescue teams or the friend you called might be an hour away and you could freeze while you wait. That’s why, before the first snow, you should check your car so you can repair anything that needs repair.
All the mechanics will know what to look for, but if you want to do it yourself, we put together a small list with what to look for:
- Tire pressure – People seem to forget about this little aspect. When the temperature drops, the pressure in your tires also goes down. If you do not check it in time, you may have problems driving the car because the tires are too low. Also, have you ever tried to change a floor during a snowstorm? It is not fun.
- Change your tires – If you do not use tires for all seasons, it’s time to change them as soon as you feel the air is cooling. Also make sure they are still usable (if you used them last winter). Authorities recommend replacing the tires before the tread depth reaches 1.5 mm (the minimum depth allowed). It was shown that tires with a tread depth of 3 mm can stop a car 25% shorter than a 1.5 mm tire on wet pavement. You do the math.
- Make sure that your the wheels are well screwed And there are no loose nuts. This action is highly recommended after you have changed the tires.
- Car battery – The box that gives life to your car. During the winter, old batteries may have trouble starting or may fall completely. Make sure your battery is ready for the cold weather that is coming.
- Check the fluid level of your windshield wiper and be sure to switch to winter fluid. The one you used during the summer will freeze as soon as the temperature drops below zero and you will not be able to clean your windshield.
- Do not forget about wiper washer, They can be small but not insignificant. Put on a winter windshield wipers, they are excellent to prevent ice from coming out of the blade.
- Brakes – Important during all seasons but more sensitive during the winter. Check for wear and make sure your system is working in winter conditions by performing a quick test. You do not want to be on the road, in the intense snow and suddenly you realize that your breaks are not working.
- Check all your lights and replace the burned out bulbs. You will need your lights to work at maximum to be visible to other drivers in places with lots of snow. You also need to see where you are going. If there is snow on the street it is sometimes difficult to see where the road is. Well, this is going to be even more difficult without lights.
- Check your defrosters Both in front and behind. You need clear visibility to drive responsibly.
Before reaching the road.
Now that you’ve checked the car and everything is in order, you’re ready to go. Before getting into the car, you should follow some steps to make sure you respect the winter driving conditions:
- Clean and thaw all your windows so that your visibility is not obstructed. Do the same with mirrors and lights;
- Make sure your gas tank is almost full. You do not want to push the car to the nearest service station when the temperature is below zero;
- Begin to warm up and let the car warm up before you start driving;
- Make sure that your exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow or ice;
- Check if there are no frozen liquids or vital elements frozen. If you hear strange noises, do not go anywhere until you discover it.
Buckle up and start your journey. Remember, drive safely and do not forget you are driving in winter conditions.
How to travel safely in winter driving conditions.
When the pavement is dry and the sun shines on your head, you may be tempted to bend some driving rules. We do not say that it is something we would recommend, but many drivers do not seem to care much about safe driving when the weather permits. The problem data change completely during the winter.
You must follow some very important driving rules if you want you and your driving partners to get home safely:
- Always keep control! If your car starts skidding, do not panic and try to take it to a safe place where there are no other cars moving. Do not try to break and do not accelerate! When you feel that the tires have a bit of grip, you can try to break them or accelerate them smoothly, according to the situation.
- Slow down and stay alert! When everything is white around you, it is very difficult to see what is happening in front of you. That’s why a pair of sunglasses should always be in your glove box. Avoid driving if you are tired and keep in mind that those speed limits are for the ideal driving conditions.
- Keep a safe distance towards the car in front. This way, if the driver in front of you breaks suddenly, you will not hit his backside. Also make sure that your seatbelt is on all the time.
- Leave the radio on so you can get news about the weather. If you hear about blocked roads, call the local authorities and ask if it is safe to continue.
- Always have a plan B! Plan in advance and ask yourself what you should do if you can not reach your destination. Find a location in the middle where you can get accommodation if necessary.
- Your direction movements should be smooth and precise. If you are in too much of a hurry with direction, you can skate.
- Do not get involved in moving to other cars Unless it is allowed and safe. Participating in risky passes, during driving conditions in winter, can endanger your life and the lives of people in other cars.
- Always a turn signal or lane change in time to allow the drivers behind you to react accordingly.
- Wear comfortable shoes which are suitable for driving in the winter. Make sure your feet do not slip on the pedals when you get into the car.
These are the basic safety tips for winter driving that we wanted to update in your memory.
They are of the utmost importance and every good driver must follow them for themselves and for the good of others.
What to do when you’re stuck in the snow?
There are an infinite number of scenarios in which you can get stuck or stuck in the snow: your car skids and left the road, the road closed and there is nowhere to go, runs out of gas or your car broke down. These are just some, but the main conclusion is that it is surrounded by snow and can not leave the area.
If this happens, the best thing to do is to stay calm and remember the recommended behavior in such a situation.
- First, try to get as little exposure to cold as possible. Cold weather is not a friend of the heart, so make sure you stay warm and cold;
- If there’s nothing you can do, like take the car out with a shovel, stay inside. Also, do not leave the car if there is a snowstorm. You may not find it when you come back; The blizzard can be very confusing.
- Try to make the car as visible as possible: turn on the lights and attach a piece of colored fabric to your antenna. People will see you faster this way. If you have flares, configure them.
- Do not leave the engine running all the time, turn it on only when it is cold inside. In this way, you will conserve the fuel (you never know how long you will be trapped there). Break the windows to prevent the accumulation of carbon monoxide inside.
- Share a blanket with whoever is in the car with you. In this way you will better preserve the heat of your body. If you are alone, curl up in the blanket as best you can.
- Cover your head and neck (it loses a lot of heat out there).
- Make sure it is not starting to freeze. Check your extremities like fingers and toes. Because your body begins to adapt to the low temperature, you may not feel the beginning of freezing.
- Do not fall asleep if you are alone in the car. If you do not run the engine from time to time to warm up, you may wake up in the hospital.
- Move and try to keep the blood flowing. This will help you stay alert and warm for a longer period of time.
- Contact the authorities and let them know where you are and your condition. Watch for emergency vehicles and try to get their attention when you find them.
Although you are a responsible driver and follow all the safety tips for driving during the winter, bad things happen. You need to be prepared to survive in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by snow until the rescue teams reach you. To do that, you should always have an emergency driving kit during the winter in your car and a full tank of gasoline. These two can save your life.
Winter emergency driving kit
One of the most important safety tips for driving in winter is to always have an emergency kit with you. He simply puts it in his car and forgets it until he needs it. You do not have to carry it, it will not take up much space and, if necessary, it is ready.
Let’s see what a good and responsible driver should include in the winter emergency kit:
- A shovel It is always recommended during the winter, so it is best to include it in the kit;
- A tow rope and a chain can be useful if it skids and can not exit. Also, someone else may need help and you can offer their help;
- Road flares They are perfect if you want to indicate your location by visual signs. Emergency lights are also a good option;
- A flashlight with batteries and spare batteries are also useful;
- Warm blankets and an extra round of clothing and shoes can be very useful;
- A small tool kit It can be very useful if something breaks down. It should include screwdrivers, booster cables and anything else you might need;
- Traction aid material like sand and salt mats or traction;
- Nonperishable food like energy bars, canned food, chocolate, nuts, everything that will help you increase your energy level;
- Sweet water;
- Candles and matches;
- First aid kit (legally this should already be in the car regardless of the season);
- Windshield cleaning liquid To spare, in case they run out;
- Paper towels;
- An ice scraper and a snow brush;
- Tire chains;
- A road map In case the GPS loses the signal or stops working. By using the map, you will know how to let rescuers find you. Add a compass so you can read the map more easily;
- An extra cell phone or an additional battery for your current cell phone;
These are the basic elements that you should have in the car during the winter. If you think there are others you might need, feel free to add them to the list.
As you can see, in the winter season we have to prepare for the unexpected, especially during long trips in heavy weather. In addition to making sure your car is ready for winter, you should always tell a friend where you are going and what route you are taking. Establish a communication rule: if you do not register for a certain period of time, people should start to worry. If you can not contact the authorities, your friend will.
Winter is a wonderful and magical season, but it can be a real problem for motorists. Be sure to follow the driving safety rules in winter and your car is fully equipped for the adventure that is about to begin. The winter driving conditions transform each journey into a real adventure.