Winter can be beautiful and fun. If you ski or snowmobile, you love winter. For those who live in Metro Detroit, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without some snow on the trees and the ground. And, it’s undeniable, snowfall is a lovely sight to look out at – unless, of course, you’re looking out t it through your windshield.
On those days, it’s not lovely, it’s threatening. Winter also brings cold temperatures and wind. And when some or all all those conditions occur while you’re driving, your commute or road trip has just been forced to shift from pleasant or routine to serious. Not only do you have to contend with low visibility, wind, and ice but you also have to pay attention to the other drivers. Your safety is dependent upon how well you pay attention to all of those factors.
But, let’s not oversimplify or complicate how to overcome the hazards and risks in winter driving. When you have to go out on the roadways and it’s a full winter’s day, you’re going to be inconvenienced at the very least. But, most importantly, you can also face it being well prepared and equipped to stay safe.
The following are tips and tactics for driving safe and smart during hazardous winter road conditions.
Smart practices and winter essentials
Take a proactive approach to prevent your windshield wipers from freezing on your windshield. If you don’t have wipers that can be moved to an upright position, take two rolled-up old socks, place one under each windshield wiper and you won’t’ have to deal with that hassle.
De-ice your door locks with hand sanitizer. Just place a small amount onto each door lock and they won’t’ freeze or they’ll no longer be frozen.
Pre-empt skidding and get extra traction with kitty litter. Additional weight helps any vehicle prevent or mitigate skidding. But, when you chose kitty litter as your source of extra weight, you’ve also given yourself extra protection in the event you get stuck. Kitty little can serve as a traction agent.
When warming up your car before hitting the road, make sure your tailpipe is not blocked – to any degree – by snow.
Program yourself to create a winter driving checklist; make sure you have enough: gas, charge in your phone and air in your tires. It’s best, of course, to run through this checklist before it starts snowing. For example, on the evening before heavy snowfall or a snowstorm is predicted to happen, run through your checklist so the next morning you’re prepared for the drive you have to make.
While driving, do so slowly. Refrain from using your parking brake or cruise control when roads are slick. Accelerate slowly when traveling on hills and when you get off a snowbank.
If you have the misfortune of getting stuck, staying inside your car is your safest choice. But, first, make sure your tailpipe isn’t blocked by snow as mentioned above. Turn your dome light on when it’s dark outside. And create some sort of window banner, bright enough so that it can be seen by passing drivers and authorities, so they’ll know you are inside your stuck vehicle.
Looking for an Auto Repair Center near Fraser, Michigan?
Car Guys Auto Center is located at 32639 Groesbeck Hwy., Fraser. Give us a call for all your auto repair needs at 586-285-4444.