Getting ready to go on a winter road trip? If you’re going to a state in a cooler climate that commonly gets winter precipitation, you need to be aware of proper winter road condition preparation before you hit the road. Keep yourself and others on the road safe by following these tips to prepare for winter road conditions.
Get your vehicle ready
Before you head out on your trip, winterize your car to make sure it’s ready for some potentially cold temperatures and wet winter weather:
- Test your battery, since drops in temperature reduce battery power.
- Check tire treads and replace any tires with treads of less than 1/16 inch.
- Check tire pressure, since low temperatures correspond to a drop in pressure.
- Avoid gas line freezes by keeping your tank at least half full.
- Make sure your lights are in working condition.
Adjust your driving habits
If you’re driving on wet, slippery roads, you need to adjust your driving habits accordingly. Some best practices for driving in wintery conditions include:
- Be careful on hills: Don’t power up hills, since applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will only make your wheels spin. Never stop when driving up a hill—instead, try to build momentum on flat roadways when you notice you’re approaching a hill.
- Steer in the direction of skids: If you need to take quick action to avoid a crash, always steer in the direction of a skid. You won’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane once your wheels regain traction.
- Drive slowly: Your tires lose traction on wet roads, which means you need to adjust your speed significantly in bad weather. Use your best judgment and drive well below posted speed limits to keep yourself and others safe. Also, remember to never use cruise control in wintery weather conditions.
- Keep your distance: Respect other drivers on the road and increase following distance to eight to 10 seconds to provide a buffer in case of sudden stops.
Understand your car’s capabilities
One of the most important tips to prepare for winter road conditions is to be mindful of your car’s capabilities and built-in safety features. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what safety features are already built in, including traction control and anti-lock braking systems (ABS).
Traction control helps your vehicle gain traction on wet surfaces, particularly while accelerating from a slowed or stopped position, while ABS helps you regain traction and helps you steer in emergencies. Whether you have ABS or not, keep your heel on the floor and apply firm pressure to the pedal in the event of a skid. Keep in mind that you are your car’s best safety feature, and take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination.
Winter road condition preparation can help you safely navigate the highways and byways in the nastiest of weather conditions, but accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s important to have security when you need it. Reach out to Affordable Car Insurance Tampa and get the peace of mind that only comes with knowing you have protection from happenstance.