5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving


As the winter weather approaches, the roads will quickly become more hazardous to cars and trucks on the road. Whether you live in the alpine forests of Grand Rapids or the mountains of Albuquerque, icy pavement and flurries can make it dangerous to be out on the highway. It doesn’t take long for conditions to become slippery.

The best way to stay safe on the wintery roads is to be prepared. Getting your vehicle ready to tackle the snowy conditions can help you avoid ending up in a ditch or involved in an accident. From changing your tires to switching over your fluids to winter blends, there are a few things that you can do to get your car ready for the winter roads.

Over 14,000 accidents happen every winter. If you aren’t prepared, you may need a car or truck accident lawyer in Albuquerque or Grand Rapids. To avoid injuries from an accident, follow these tips for safe winter driving.

Winter Ready

Snow and ice-covered roads will make it difficult for you to handle your car as you would in summer conditions. You can start by changing out your tires to an all-season or winter tread. These will help give you more traction and help reduce the chance of sliding off the road. It’s also essential to make sure that your tires are adequately filled. Low tires can lose their grip on the road making your drive more hazardous.

Top up all of your fluids with winter formulas that can withstand frigid temperatures. Change your radiator fluid for antifreeze, swap out your windshield fluid for a winter blend and make sure all your other fluids are full.

The fall is an excellent time to have a brake inspection done. When you are driving during the winter, you will need to have good brakes to avoid accidents.

Slow Down

The key to keeping control on wintery roads is to control your speed. Take your time and forget about being in a hurry. When you drive at higher speeds and go into a skid on black ice or packed snow, it will take longer for your vehicle to stop and is more likely to spin out of control.

Ease into your speed as you accelerate away from a stop. Intersections can be incredibly slippery, and giving your car full gas will often just cause your wheels to spin, resulting in a loss of control.

Avoid using your cruise control during the winter. Drivers tend to get relaxed when using the cruise option, and you will need to stay on alert when navigating winter roads. The slight delay in your reaction time when you have the cruise control on could result in an accident.

Plan Ahead

Before you head out on the roads in the winter, it’s always a good idea to check the weather report. This will let you know if there are any storms expected to hit in your area and allow you to plan your travel. Choose a route that is the most likely to be plowed or salted, creating a safer path.

Emergency Kit

If you end up in a ditch after sliding off the road in the winter, you will be glad to have a car emergency kit with you. Having the right winter supplies in your vehicle during the winter can mean the difference between life and disaster. Put together an emergency kit that includes these items:

  • Thermal blanket
  • Extra clothes
  • Candles
  • Water
  • Protein bars
  • First aid kit
  • Knitted cap
  • Flares
  • Shovel
  • Sand or kitty litter

Stay Alert

Driving in winter conditions requires your full attention. Even when the roads look clear, you can still end up sliding on black ice and ending up in trouble. Stay off your phone and turn off all of your other devices. If you must take calls in the car, limit your communication to your onboard Bluetooth system only.

Pay attention to all the other drivers on the road, and maintain your visibility by keeping your windshield clear.  Stay far enough back from other traffic that you will have lots of time to stop if needed without causing a collision. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by other drivers on the road into going faster than is comfortable or safe. Take your time, pay attention to the traffic and road conditions, and be alert to any hazards.

Winter driving doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you take time to prepare, you and your car can stay safe on the road for many winters to come.