Tips For Winter Weather Driving
Driving in winter can be nerve-racking but these helpful tips from My Auto Store will make your commute smoother.
- Distance – No matter how well you think you drive, leaving a safe distance between your vehicle and the driver in front of you is very important. Personally, I tend to leave a 4-5 car length gap between myself and the car in front of me. This allows me time to react if they start to slide or brake unexpectedly.
- Tires – Make sure your tires have good tread depth. Your tires should be at least 5/32. More tread equals better traction and stopping. You can find tire tread depth gauges for around $3 dollars for manual ones, and around $15 for digital ones. They’re tiny, but safe to have in the glove box. Another inexpensive option is to use a penny and measure using Lincoln’s head pointing down into the tread. If you see his entire head, it’s time to replace your tire.
- Windshield Washer Fluid – A necessity for all weather but very important in winter. Depending on where you live, you may want to check the freezing point labeled on every jug. I check it every few weeks and I tend to have a spare in my car all winter long.
- Pre-Winter Checkup – I always take my vehicles to a shop just for a random check before it snows. They check the battery, wipers, lights, breaks, and fluids, just to make sure that everything is ready to go.
- Pack Necessities – Some things I keep in a gym bag in my truck are as follows:
- Ice Scraper
- Flares or Emergency Markers
- Traction Mat or Abrasive Material – In case you get stuck.
- Speeding Up/Slowing Down – Avoid this as much as possible, giving yourself a safe distance allows you more time to easily slow down, and hitting the brakes hard will cause you to slide. Don’t speed up too quickly either, this may cause your tires to spin which can cause you to slide. Maintain a safe pace.
- Gas – Always try and keep a full tank of gas if possible. You never know when you may get stuck, keeping the tank full will help ease the fear of running out of gas.
- Steering While Sliding – Steer in the direction of a skid when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect.
- Stay Visible – If you get stuck put your hazards or the interior lights. If you are in a spot of danger make sure it is safe to leave the vehicle. If you are in a situation where the weather is too bad, try and stay with the vehicle. If you try and walk away to seek help, you may put yourself in even more danger.
- Know Your Vehicle – When I was 16 and received my license, my parents made me go into a huge parking lot during a blizzard and have me drive like a maniac. From speeding to stopping, donuts, reverse donuts, soft breaking, hard braking, you name it I did it. I think they let me have a little too much fun, but it helped me gain confidence driving in the snow. It also taught me how to handle a car in bad conditions.
We hope this has been a helpful blog post, and be sure to check out our other blog topics. If you need used auto parts, feel free to browse our online inventory.