If you hit a patch of black ice, would you know how to keep your car on the road? If you’re planning on taking a road trip this winter, knowing the answer to that question could help you avoid a dangerous or even deadly accident. That’s not the only winter driving tip that you need to be aware of, however, if you want to keep you and your family safe on the road.
Preparing Your Vehicle
It’s essential that your car is winterized by checking tires, belts, hoses, and ensuring your battery is up to the job. Windshield wipers take a heavy beating in winter too, so invest in a new set to see you through the season. If you’re driving an older classic, like the BMW 2002, order the parts and supplies you need ahead of time and download any technical manuals to be sure you’re up to date on its proper safety maintenance.
Pack Your Winter Emergency Car Kit
Even the most skilled, experienced and prepared drivers can still find themselves stranded on the side of the road during the winter, or any other season for that matter. Which is why you should also keep a well-stocked emergency supply kit in your vehicle at all times.
Having essentials like water, snacks, jumper cables, and a first aid kit can come in handy throughout the year, but you should add some extra layers of clothing if you plan on traveling during the colder months. You may also want to bring along a fully charged portable charger for your phone, in case you get stuck or stranded with a dead car battery.
Avoid Being Distracted By Your Phone
Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers. That statement is true during winter weather and any other time of year. Many drivers tend to get distracted by their phones while driving in the winter, and this can lead to deadly consequences.
Still, your phone can also be a valuable asset for keeping winter road trips and commutes safer. So how can you strike a balance between safety and utility? Start by installing a hands-free kit so that you can keep your hands on the wheel and stay focused. If you must answer your phone, always pull off the highway to a rest stop or gas station.
Pay Attention to Your Local Weather
If you have weather apps on your smartphone, you should consider using them before you even think about getting on the road during the winter months. Most weather apps will also allow you to set notifications for severe weather warnings, but you can also sign up for severe storm warnings via various state and national resources.
Brush Up on Your Winter Driving Skills
When your road trip plans will take you to other states and locations, you may need to prepare yourself for road conditions you are not used to. Knowing how to react to winter road conditions can actually be helpful for both seasoned and inexperienced winter drivers, so make sure you review some important defensive driving tips before you take those winter vacations.
If you plan on driving through areas prone to winter storms, that may mean knowing how to safely drive on ice. That can be an oxymoron when storms are severe or if black ice is present, and you should avoid driving in these extreme conditions. If you do find yourself behind the wheel when roads are icy, just remember to take it slow and steady to keep your trip safe.
Employ Stress Management Techniques
Driving in icy or snowy conditions can be one of the most frazzling experiences. Again, it’s best to avoid driving during severe weather events, but sometimes this can’t be helped. Maintaining a stress-free living environment means that you won’t get into your car to start your day already out of sorts from something going on at home.
The winter months can be filled with so many dangers for drivers. Understanding these risks can help you better prepare for them, which can help prevent dangerous situations on the road.