The harshest season of the year has arrived and if you haven’t been hit with freezing cold winds, ice, and snow yet, there’s still time left to freshen up on proper winter driving etiquette. Driving during winter is unlike any other season and taking to the road unprepared poses more dangers than ever. Here are a few winter driving tips and tricks from us here at Gjovik Chevrolet. Stay safe this winter!
Service – One of the best ways to avoid any mishaps on the road is to keep your car in peak operating condition. That means getting all of the regular maintenance, like oil changes and battery checks, out of the way. Make sure to have your tires inspected for any defects or potential problems. The last thing any driver wants is to be is stranded in the snow!
Slow Down – Driving in winter is unlike hitting the road in any other season. Everything takes longer, which can make speeding around turns a major hazard. Make sure to leave early and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
Fuel Level – Experts suggest keeping your fuel tank at least one-third to halfway full to avoid any problems with the fuel pump or lines. While it may seem like a hassle, more gas means there’s a greater chance your car will start in the icy cold weather!
Driving in wintery, freezing, wet, and slick conditions can not only be stressful, but downright terrifying. Before you hit the road this winter season, avoid stress by making sure you are prepared for anything. Here, we’ve provided a few winter driving tips that will help you (and your car) to safely navigate hazardous road conditions.
Stay home. If and when you have the luxurious option of staying off the roads altogether, that’s your best bet. Cozy up with your favorite little beings, a good book or movie, get the fireplace roaring, and stay put. Twist your arm, right?
Ok, ok. So you just have to get where you’re going.
Make sure you have good—no, great—tires. A set of good snow tires is the single most important factor on snowy roads (besides your expert control of the vehicle, of course). In rural areas, we suggest snow tires, while in the city (where roads are usually cleared), you can probably get away with all-season tires. Your tires help your car to grip the road and reduce slipping and sliding, so don’t skimp.
Don’t skimp. That brings us to our next point. When purchasing winter tires, buy all four. Snow tires installed on just the front wheels of a front-wheel-drive car can make it prone to spinning out in the snow, and snow tires on only the rear wheels of a rear-wheel-drive car can make the car especially difficult to turn.
ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is as important as airbags. ESC stabilizes your car in the event you lose control. Don’t get behind the wheel in slick or hazardous conditions unless you have it. All cars manufactured after 2012 are required to have it, and for good reason.
AWD is helpful. AWD is designed to help you get going and keep moving in deep snow, and also helps you to turn when roads are slippery. Keep in mind that AWD isn’t a miracle worker, and only offers a fraction of the performance that winter tires do. AWD is well-worth having, but drivers should be aware of its limitations.
Go slow. Take it easy out there. Being late is almost universally acceptable when it’s your safety versus punctuality. In the event you absolutely cannot be late, leave early. Don’t follow too closely, assume roads are slick, and pull over if you need to.
Head over to Edmunds.com for more winter driving tips and tricks.
If you need a reliable car to help you get through tough the winter months, stop by Gjovik Auto today!