Things You Have to Know About Winter Driving

by Diana Smith in Tips

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The winter is here and it is always a driving challenge. The snow, the slippery roads, the fogged glasses and all the downsides of the winter driving await. However, driving in the wintertime is very challenging and if you are an unexperienced driver, or this is your first winter as a driver, here are the things that you really need to know about.

Also, if you already know all this, it is good to go through these things one more time just to make sure that you are doing your best to keep the car and yourself safe.

Preparing the Engine

The first thing that you should do is to check the antifreeze in the cooling system. Each two years, you should check it, flush it out and replace it. Each year, you need to check it and see to which temperature it will guard your car. Your mechanic can do it for you quite easily. In that way, you will be sure about it. The next thing that needs to be done is to check your battery. Harsh winters and cold weather can be very hard on the battery and you don’t want to be stuck without the means to start your engine in the cold. When you are done with those, make sure that the wipers, defrosters and heaters are all operational and really do go. If you want, you can change your wipers and use the winter model. However, you must have the liquid that can withstand the winter temperatures in order to be able to clean the glass.

Things to Have in Car

There is a list of useful things that are really needed in your car. Some of them are needed in case you get stuck in the broken car and others are to be there to prevent that from happening. The first list of items includes water, snacks, pair of socks and a blanket. However, if you want to be able to get out of that snow, you will need a shovel, gloves, flashlight and even a lighter. Sometimes, the lock gets frozen and you cannot unlock the doors, so heating it up a big with a lighter helps.

Dealing with Snow

Considering that you have checked your breaks and that you are sure that they work, one of the first rules of thumb about driving on the snow is not to rush and to try and pick the clearest and the most drove through roads. Always check the antifreeze from the car in front of you as you may never know how much time you’ll need to hit the brakes and actually stop. As for the gas and the breaks, make sure that you don’t harshly brake when you want to stop and don’t be hard on the gas when you feel that you want to go. In snowy conditions both extremes are counterproductive. If you are driving on the snow, don’t stop when you are driving uphill as you may not be able to start again.

Tyres

Since they are the first line of contact with the road, tyres deserve the section of their own. You definitely need new tyres in the winter. Choose those that are specially made for the winter conditions (check out these myths). At first, they may not seem that different, but the difference will be felt soon enough if you try and drive your car with summer tyres during the winter time. Don’t let that happen as you will not have control over the vehicle. Besides the tyres, you need the chains for the wheels as the patterns on the tyres may not be deep enough to prevent the sliding. The chains will do that for sure and that is why they are the necessary gear for the wintertime.

Being careful, trying to stay warm, having good winter tyres and having regular checks with your mechanic are the keys to safe driving in the wintertime. Learning from more experienced drivers is also very useful, but with these tips and your common sense about safe driving, you and your vehicle will be just fine this and any other winter that is coming our way.

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