If you live in an area that gets snow, you may already be dreading this coming winter. Although falling snow can be delightful to watch from inside, outside winter road snow is cause for caution. Insurance.com has some ideas about how to prepare for winter travel, and some good driving tips to keep you safely on the road and out of harm's way.
Preparing Your Car
Before the first snow falls, there are a few things you can do to winterize your car:
Check Your Tires
Check your tires regularly for tread wear. If you have any doubt about your tires' ability to perform in snowy winter driving conditions, visit your mechanic or tire center. It's also important to maintain the correct tire pressure. You can find the correct pressure for your car in the owner's manual or inside the door edge. Make sure your tires are properly balanced and aligned at regular intervals, too. And if you live in an area where snowy winter roads are inevitable, you may need to invest in tires specifically designed for snow road conditions.
Keep Your Distance
It can take much longer to stop on icy roads than usual. Don't tailgate, and be alert for brake lights on the car in front of you. You should also turn on your headlights so other cars can see you.
If you lose control of your car on an icy road and it begins to skid, don't slam on the brakes. Instead, apply the brakes in a steady, slightly firm manner, and steer in the direction of the skid. For cars that have antilock brakes, you should apply more pressure (steady) to the brakes, but avoid pumping them.
Don't Drive if You're Tired or Distracted
Driving in very snowy or icy weather requires you to be very alert, particularly at night. If you're tired, pull off the road to a safe place and take a break, or better yet, postpone your trip entirely if you can. You should also avoid eating, drinking, talking on the phone, fiddling with the radio, or handing items to children in the back seat: anything where you need to take one or both hands off the steering wheel momentarily.
The better prepared you are for winter driving conditions, the safer you'll be on snow and ice covered roads. Be prepared and winterize your car. Insurance.com wishes you safe winter driving.
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