Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving can be dangerous, so its important to take extra caution on the roads. During bad weather, the best way to avoid an accident is not to drive at all. But, if you must drive, keep these tips in mind.

Prepare for bad weather in advance

  • Get your car a winter tune-up at the auto mechanic
  • Prepare an emergency kit
  • Here are some items to get you started
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Blanket
  • Jumper Cables
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Triangle Reflectors
  • Flares
  • Basic Tools like a screwdrivers, pliers, and an adjustable wrench
  • Duct Tape
  • Spare Fuses
  • Rags
  • Funnel
  • Work Gloves
  • Sand
  • Rock Salt
  • Small Shovel
  • De-Icer
  • Ice Scraper
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Snack bars, or other non-perishable food, and water
  • Consider Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Check that your spare tire is properly inflated
  • Watch the news, listen to the radio, check the weather to be aware of possible bad weather conditions
  • More Information article on Winterizing your car
  • Consider snow tires or all-season tires for your car
  • Dont allow your fuel level to get too low

Clean all the snow off your car

  • Make sure you get the rear windows and mirrors as well as the windshield
  • Dont forget about the hood. Snow could blow onto your windshield while driving
  • Clean snow off your lights so that you can see and be seen

While Driving

  • Buckle your seat belt
  • If the weather gets really bad, consider pulling over if its safe to do so
  • Drive slower and leave PLENTY of room to brake
  • Dont use cruise control
  • Turn on your lights to remain visible to other drivers
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding
  • Dont pass snow plows, let them do their jobs
  • Turn on your defroster and windshield wipers
  • Remember that bridges, ramps, and overpasses are likely to freeze first

Skidding on Ice

  • Dont panic
  • Take your foot off the accelerator
  • Look where you want to go
  • Turn into the skid, back towards straight, in the direction you want to go

Check out “How to Drive In Inclement Weather”


Photo by OregonDOT via Flickr / CC BY 2.0