The Northeast may get pummeled with snow and ice, the Midwest can’t make up its mind, the South barely notices a difference and the West has all four seasons at one time, and the extreme north is stuck in a wintry mix all the time, we seem to be challenged when it comes to driving. Whether it’s because preparations weren’t made or because driving habits weren’t changed, there is an increase in the number of accidents on the roads when snow and ice are a factor while driving. If you’ve been lucky so far and haven’t experienced any challenges on the road, here are some things to keep in mind for the winter months:
Tires – Your tires are right now the most important part of your vehicle. They are all the time, but when the snow and ice are on the road you need to have a set of winter tires on your vehicle. These tires are specially made to provide you with the increased traction you want to have on the road surfaces that have gotten slick from the cold stuff. Even if you don’t add winter tread to your car, check your tires, make sure they’re properly inflated and have them ready for your cold weather driving.
Engine and Fluids – Of course your tires won’t matter if you can’t get out of the driveway. Make sure your fluids are good, you’ve had a recent oil change and that you can drive without worry. One of the most important fluids in the winter is windshield washer fluid. We tend to use this up quickly because of snow and slush that gets sent up on the windshield from other drivers. It’s a good idea to keep a jug in the back of your car so that you can add some if you need to on the road.
Weight – If you drive a pickup truck or have a car with a light rear end, it’s a good idea to add a few bags of sand or bricks to the back to add weight. Most of the weight of your vehicle is up front where the engine is and this additional weight will give you the traction you need. This is especially important if you have a RWD vehicle as the added weight will help to push the vehicle down in the snow more for better overall traction.
Take it slow and watch out for other drivers. It’s often the other drivers on the road that cause you the most problems, even if you’re driving along without any incident at all. This video shows you what can happen when you don’t change your driving habits and make sure you can have the traction needed for the ride. The snow and ice can be unforgiving and you have to be more cautious when they’re present. It’s better to arrive late than to not arrive at all; take it easy and make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the challenging roads ahead.