Stay safe even when driving in winter

February 11, 2013 01:03 PM

After Nemo dumped snow across much of the Northeast, car owners had to acclimate themselves to winter driving once again. There are a few tips drivers should keep in mind when battling colder temperatures, so be sure to take advantage of experts' advice before setting out. 

AOL Autos reports one of the best things a person can do is conduct a quick check of a vehicle before setting out. Make sure that the car has antifreeze and washer fluid, and spend some time clearing off snow and ice. Windows should be completely clean before hitting the road, as any kind of "peephole driving," where only a small space is used to see through, is dangerous, according to Consumer Reports. 

If you notice something may be off with the car, call and schedule a tune up. While scheduled maintenance would have ideally been completed before the inclement weather hit, it's never too late to have a professional take a look at the vehicle and see what needs to be done in order to get it into top driving condition. 

Once your ride is ready to handle the roads, you should turn your attention to the best driving practices for colder months. Maintaining slow speeds and driving smoothly is of the utmost importance. Although taking advantage of features like four-wheel-drive can help you remain in control on the road, it can't always help avoid sudden stops and starts, dangerous turns or slick roads. 

Another important aspect of driving to keep in mind is the distance that should be kept in between vehicles. Icy or slushy roads can make it more difficult to brake, slow down or accelerate, so be sure to leave extra space between you and the cars around you. 

Throughout the winter season, drivers should be sure to properly inflate tires and check air pressure on a regular basis. Batteries and gas tanks also suffer more in lower temperatures, so do your best to check the status of those before heading out - leaving time to charge the battery and purposely filling the tank to prevent freezing should also be done regularly. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that drivers keep some emergency equipment in their car at all times. In addition to things like an ice scraper or emergency kit, you should also have some kind abrasive material, such as sand or salt, in the car in case the automobile gets stuck. 


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