The safest place during a snowstorm or freezing rain may be your home, but sometimes you can’t avoid driving in lousy weather. Stay safe on the road with these tips:
- Keep your car in good condition. Regular maintenance and tune-ups will improve your car’s performance in the winter. Make sure your tires are fully inflated—tire pressure tends to decrease in cold weather.
- Clear all snow from your vehicle. Be sure all your windows are clear before you start driving, and that your wiper blades are cleaning properly. Get all the snow off your car, including your hood, roof, and trunk.
- Test your vehicle’s performance as you head out. Start out slowly so you can check your wipers, steering, and brakes.
- Accelerate and decelerate with care. Hitting the gas or stomping on the brake can increase your car’s tendency to skid.
- Don’t use cruise control. You might hit an unexpected icy patch while your foot is away from the pedals.
- Watch out for bridges and exit ramps. Bridges and overpasses freeze more quickly and defrost more slowly than surface roads. Exit ramps may receive less anti-icing treatment.
- Keep a safe distance. Give yourself more room than usual to stop or swerve if the vehicle in front of you encounters an unexpected problem.