How to Drive Safely in the Winter

The winter is a beautiful time of year, but it also presents a number of hazards and increases risk of accidents.  One of the most dangerous wintertime activities is driving.  If you have to drive in the winter, you are going to want to be careful and keep the following tips in mind.


First, make sure that you have the proper tires to drive on snow, and check that the tires are inflated properly.  You can do this anywhere that auto repair is offered.  You should also avoid using cruise control on any type of slippery surface.  Drive slowly; it isn’t a race.  Keep your distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you to about eight to 10 seconds, rather than the usual three to four.


When you drive in the snow, you want to make sure that you accelerate and decelerate slowly.  Always watch where you are going and make sure that you brake well ahead of when you actually intend to stop.  Use high beams when other cars are not around, and watch for animals that may enter the road.  Do not use high beams in fog, which will only decrease visibility.


You should also make sure that you watch the weather reports before you have to drive.  This will let you know if there is a new storm coming so you can prepare in advance.  Have a checkup for your vehicle before the winter hits.


Carry a cell phone, even when you are going on a short trip.  You should also make sure that you carry a blanket, a large bottle of water and an emergency kit with you when you drive in the winter.  Also, carry non-perishable foods in the trunk in case you are stuck on a road and have to wait for help.  Dried nuts and dark chocolate are a great energy source and will keep you feeling full if you get stuck in your car.


Whenever you drive, no matter the time of year, you will want to make sure that you buckle your seat belt, don’t warm up the car in a closed garage and don’t drive when you are tired.

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