Tips for Safe Winter Driving

While there is nothing quite like walking in a winter wonderland — driving is an entirely different story. Let’s brush up on your winter driving skills, so you’re prepared when Mother Nature dusts the roadways with slippery snow.

Prepare your car for winter. Even before the first flake falls, take some time to winterize your car. Buying winter tires can give you an edge with a better grip on the road. Then have your fluids topped for the season, inspect wiper blades and check the battery. Lastly, make sure you have ice and snow scrapers on hand along with some snow gear and blankets.

Practice your driving skills. If you can find an empty parking lot, practice quick stops, tight turns and other regular maneuvers. This refresher preps your mind and body for slippery roads after a long summer vacation.

Clear the car. Give yourself ample time to clear snow and ice from your vehicle. Your visibility in inclement weather becomes even more important, so take time to clear windows and mirrors. Remove snow from reflectors and lights so others can see you coming, and don’t forget to sweep the snow off the roof of your vehicle.

Slow down. One of the best steps you can take to stay safe on slippery roads is to slow down. Even if you feel your vehicle can handle the road, the car in front of you may not be as prepared. Slower speeds are safer for all!

Stop early. Begin your stops sooner than you would on dry roads. Tires need a little extra leeway when there’s rain, snow and ice on the roads.

Skip the cruise. Stay in control of your vehicle at all times by avoiding the cruise control entirely.

Be wary on bridges. Even if the roads seem like they’re still pretty clear, bridges and overpasses tend to get icy first. Extra caution keeps you on your toes if ice is forming.

Stay defensive. While a good driver always drives defensively, this is even more important for safe winter driving. Keep alert and anticipate ice patches and sudden moves by other drivers.

Keep your phone charged and ready. While you never want to use your phone while driving, you do want to have it handy in case anything happens.

For added peace of mind on the road this winter, connect with your American Family Insurance agent to make sure you’ve got the right car insurance for your unique situation. After all, a pro-active approach is the best way to prepare.

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Related Topics: Car Safety , Safe Driving , On The Road