How to Stay Safe While Driving During Winter
Winter is the perfect time to build crackling fires, safely hit the slopes, build snowmen and snuggle up with a nice cup of tea. Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games. Winter also creates some of the most treacherous road conditions. Because it’s not possible for most of us to hibernate until spring, here are tips you need on how to stay safe while driving during winter.
Safe Driving? Numbers Don’t Lie
Think we are being overly cautious giving you tips on How to stay safe while driving during Winter? According to AAA, Winter storms, bad weather, and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter.
Pack Up Emergency Supplies for your Car Travel
Sometimes, your intention to stay safe while driving during the winter isn’t enough. We like to live by the motto, ‘ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’. Make sure your car is outfitted with supplies in case of an emergency. Include a warm blanket, warm clothes, a first aid kit, a flashlight or flare, jumper cables, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand or kitty litter to give you traction, and snow chains. You should also carry some water, food supplies—like energy bars or trail mix—and a phone charger!
Check for Ice on Your Mirrors To Stay Safe While Driving
This is a winter driving tip that professional long-haul drivers use to determine if road conditions are icy. Inspect your outside mirrors. If ice is starting to form on the mirrors, that’s a good indicator that ice is also forming on roadways. Take extra precautions to stay safe while driving or wait until it warms up to drive.
Drive Safe and Leave Early!
This might seem like an obvious one, but we know you’re busy and eager to get to your next destination. We’re here to remind you to take it slow! One of our main tips on How to stay safe while driving during winter allows extra time to arrive at your destination. Trips can take longer during winter than other times of the year, especially if you encounter storm conditions or icy roads. And driving in inclement weather is stressful enough without the added pressure of being late, which might cloud your safe driving judgment.
Drive Safe and Minimize Distractions
How to stay safe while driving during Winter #1 tip: Put down your phone! Keep your phone turned off or connected to your car’s Bluetooth—and never take your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road to check that WhatsApp message.
Stay Safe While Driving Means Listen to the Road!
No, not listen to your heart. Not this time anyway. Listen to the road. Literally. Tires make different sounds when driving on snow and ice, which is another reason to keep your radio volume down for winter driving safety. Snowy road noise should be relatively loud because snow is kicked up. If loud noise suddenly stops, you might have moved from snow to ice. Stay tuned in to the sound of your tires on the road to keep on top of road conditions that often change quickly, especially during or right after a storm.
Anti-Freeze if you want to stay safe while driving
How to Stay Safe While Driving During Winter? Make sure your wiper fluid contains anti-freeze, so the spray doesn’t freeze up in cold weather. Consider buying winter wiper blades, which prevent ice and snow from hardening on the wiper!
I followed your tips and still got stuck
Sometimes, these things cant be avoided. If you get stuck in the snow here are some quick tips:
- Stay with your vehicle: Your vehicle provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Do not try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
- Don’t overexert yourself: When digging out your vehicle, listen to your body and stop if you become tired.
- Be Visible: Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Clear the Exhaust Pipe: Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the engine is running.
- Stay Warm: Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps. Pre-pack blankets and heavy clothing to use in case of an emergency.
- Conserve Fuel: If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel.
Car Travel? Ignore everything we just said
What if there was a way you could avoid all the above hassle of stay safe while driving? If only there was a mode of transport that you could jump onto, and get to your destination quickly and safely. Oh wait, there is! It’s called a train!
It’s true that cars offer the freedom that few other modes of transports do. You can travel along otherwise unreachable coastal roads, head to remote villages, and not worry about schedules or seats selling out. They’re not without their shortcomings, however. See the numerous reasons above!
Trains are safer and faster! They’re also more affordable, especially if you’re using SaveATrain to book your train tickets. Need more convincing? We wrote a whole blog on why train travel is superior. Check it out here!
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