Winter Driving Tips

These Winter Driving Tips From AAA May Save Your Life and Avoid An Accident.

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. Motorists need to be cautious while driving in adverse weather.

The following winter driving tips are recommended:

  • Avoid driving while youíre tired. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never run a vehicle in a garage or other enclosed area.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Pack blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Donít try to walk in a severe storm. Itís easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Donít over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isnít clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning Ė nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Donít stop if you can avoid it. Thereís a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Donít power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Donít stop going up a hill. Thereís nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really donít have to go out, donít. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Donít tempt fate: If you donít have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

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