Winter driving conditions dramatically affect how your vehicle handles on the road. Braking distances are shorter on snowy roads. You can’t take turns at the same speed as you can in the summer. You’ll definitely need more distance between the vehicle in front of you. Safe winter driving is all about:
- Staying alert
- Staying in control
- Slowing down
One way to stay in control of your car is to winterize it before the cold weather sets in. Get your oil changed and do any vehicle maintenance. Check your tires and tread. Tire pressure drops in the winter from the colder temperatures. When tires are under-inflated, your car doesn’t steer as well. You’ll want to check your tire pressure monthly, even if you have snow tires. Make sure your car has one of the best car batteries to ensure it will start when you want it to.
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All Terrain Tires vs Winter Tires
If you’re wondering how to winterize your car, you may be deciding between all-terrain tires or winter tires. If you live in a climate that rarely gets above 50F in the winter, winter tires may be your better option. Winter tires are designed to be more effective in cold temperatures and to drive on snow, ice, rain or dry conditions. All-terrain tires are designed to perform in broad conditions. Some all-terrain tires perform better under warm conditions, while other all-terrains perform more effectively in winter. It depends on the manufacturer.
Knowing When to Use Snow Chains
Snow chains are a great accessory for driving on snow-packed roads. You shouldn’t use your snow chains for cars on cleared roads. Before the season, get out the snow chains and make sure you remember how to apply them to your tires. You’ll want the reminder before you need them on a snowy night when the temperature is below freezing. This gives you a chance to make sure you have the right chains for the tires. You shouldn’t use snow chains unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you do have snow chains on your car, don’t drive above 30 mph. Keep your full attention on the road. Your vehicle will handle a little differently with the chains on.
Safe-Driving Tips For Winter Conditions
Make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter. Keep an emergency kit in the car. Keep your vehicle in the best condition. Never get on the road until your windows are clean and defrosted. If the roads are even slightly slick, get the feel of the road slowly. Leave two to three times the distance between you and other vehicles. Slow down much quicker than you normally would. Reduce your speed for the conditions. Keep in mind that ice and snow remain on bridges or side streets longer than on well-driven and treated roads.
Stay home if possible when the weather is especially bad or if you’re not comfortable driving in the elements. It’s better to avoid an accident than to get stranded in a snow bank on a cold night.
Shop for winter accessories for your car with AutoZone.