Severe weather can make driving not only frightening, but dangerous as well. Preparing yourself and your car for winter driving conditions is one way to stay safe on the snow and ice covered roads, but you should also know when to stay off the roads completely.

How to Plan a Winter Drive

If you do have to drive in the winter, it is imperative to make sure you are well rested to reduce driving risks. You should check your car’s fluid levels and tire pressures and always keep at least a half a tank of gas in your car. Before heading out on your trip pay attention to the weather forecasts for the areas you will be driving in. Pack a winter survival kit to keep in your car that includes insulated blankets, emergency numbers, shovel, clothes, food, water, and medications.

Driving in the Snow

When driving in the snow make sure to drive slowly and never in a hurry; you should also increase distances between you and other vehicles. Everything from starting and stopping takes longer on snowy roads. Avoid coming to a stop on hills, and never slam on the brakes or push hard on the accelerator as that can increase the risk of fishtailing.

The most important piece of advice: if you don’t have to go out in the snow then don’t. You might know how to drive on snow-covered roads, but other drivers might not. Pay attention to weather forecasts, if a severe storm is going to be hitting soon, plan to do your errands before the storm hits. If you are planning a long distance trip and the weather is unfavorable, it may be wise to delay your trip until the weather is better.

No matter how much work you put into preparing for winter driving, there are some things you just can’t control, such as freezing rain or black ice.

What to do if Stranded

If you break down during a storm, it is ideal stay with your vehicle, especially if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna to act as a signal.  If you are stuck in the snow don’t over exert yourself trying to dig or push your car out of the snow. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and ice to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking into the car when it is running. Only run the car’s engine long enough to take off the chill.

If you have any questions, please call Stroebel Automotive at (989) 781-4307