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Preparing for Winter Driving

Be Safe in the Snow

For many of us winter driving is part of our learning experience. For some that come from areas without snow, or who have grown up with smaller winter storms it can be stressful.

Safe-driving and winter tips are always welcome, even to us pros. Here are a few to help you through:

  • Regular washer fluid is helpful, but the best option is to use De-Icer for the winter months. This will help to keep your windshield clear. It can be used alone, mixed with your current fluid, or bought as a 2-in-1 solution with most name brands.
  • When first clearing off your car be sure to run your defroster long enough to soften the ice. Using your wipers right away, or lifting them to clean under them can tear them. Some people choose to leave them standing away from the glass to avoid damage.
  • When cleaning off your car be sure to clear head lights, tail lights, back-up cameras, and parking sensors around the vehicle to keep them working properly.
  • Once travelling, use extra caution on bridges, over-passes, and roads that are used less. Bridges and over-passes may freeze again quickly, and less-traveled roads are often untreated.
  • Allow extra distance for braking, including between yours and the cars in front of you. Ice and snow can make even 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles slide.
  • Do not use cruise control as it can make it more difficult to feel loss of control and cause more dangerous situations when slippery.

Some other tips for general winter safety include:

  • Emergency Kits: a small bag or sealed container with a blanket, water, protein bars, first-aid kits, flashlights, and hand-warmers can help in any situation where emergency services are not readily available. An old cell phone can also be kept charged in the car as it can dial 9-1-1 even without an active service plan as long as a signal is available.
  • Winter Tool Box: keep a collapsible shovel, ice scraper, and a couple of 4 x 4 boards to use under your tires in emergencies. This can be very helpful if your normal winter tools break, or become lost.

And finally, the rear-wheel drive trick. As rear-while drive cars become less common, people do not always know that extra weight helps make driving in the snow easier. Since your wheels do not have the weight of the engine as front-wheel-drive cars do, adding heavy bags of sand or large stones to your trunk can help provide traction.

Have your own tips and tricks? Comment below to share them!