Driving safely in the winter has a lot of different variables, including speed, weather conditions, road-surface conditions, and how maintained your vehicle is. In order to help you be safer on the roads this winter, we’ve gathered these handy winter weather driving safety tips and tricks.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Everyone should start readying for winter prior to winter bringing its icy grip to your region. Our laundry-list of winter checks includes:
- Check the fluids in the engine, changing oil weight in the next oil change if need be
- Check the battery
- Change tires (if summer tires are installed)
Check the tread on your All-Season tires
- Install fresh windshield wipers
- Check the air pressure in the tires
- Never let your car run below half a tank of gas, that way if you’re stranded you can stay warm
- Prior to moving, clear all of the snow and ice from your car; windows, sides, and all of the top
If you don’t want to check these critical winter items yourself, then Speedy Roo Motorsports would be more than happy to help you ensure your car is ready to hit the roads this winter season.
The Winter Trunk Kit
No matter how hard we try, sometimes the worst still happens. Call it Murphy’s Law or Destiny, sitting on the side of the road on a cold winter night is frustrating and, depending on where it happens, dangerous. Of course, there’s already one emergency kit in our trunks, so we’re only really adding winter-specific items to ensure any breakdown is weathered correctly.
|Standard Emergency Kit:||Winter Emergency Add-ons:|
|Mylar Emergency Blanket||Extra warm clothing (gloves, socks, shirts, etc.)|
|First Aid Kit with knife and lighters||Warming devices, such as one-time hand warmers|
|Flashlight with extra batteries||Sand or cat litter, for traction in snow or ice|
|Jumper-cables||Tire chains (if applicable for your vehicle)|
|Emergency Flares or Reflectors||A Shovel|
|Cell phone charger adapter||A Windshield Scraper, with broom for snow|
|Healthy, non-perishable snacks|
|Water, 1L per person in the family|
Worst Case Scenario Tips & Tricks
So, it happened and you’re stuck on a dark road at night in the dead of winter. First things first, stay calm. Getting frustrated or stressed is only going to make the situation worse.
Secondly, call for help. The sooner you’ve notified the authorities or your family that you’re in trouble, the more swiftly they can respond. Give them details such as, geographical location (near the city of…), the local location (I’m in a ditch/in a pull-out/in the road), what the problem is, and your phone number (so they can call you back if need be).
In the meantime, ensure that you are safe by setting out your road flares or reflectors. A vehicle with the hood up is the universal sign of vehicular distress, so if you don’t have someone coming by to help you pop the hood and leave it open. You can also tie a piece of white cloth (sock?) onto the antenna for extra visibility.
If you’re stuck in the snow, use the shovel to clear a path in front of the driving tires and then litter the top with the traction items you have in your car. To use tire chains, install them as directed in the instructions and don’t drive over 25 miles per hour as tire chains weren’t designed for moderate speeds.
Don’t overexert yourself. Remember that sweating (from shoveling or installing chains) will cause heat loss through moist clothing. As much as possible, stay in your vehicle and warm up with the blankets in your kit. Keep it warm with a car heater every once in a while, but don’t run your engine if the snow is piling up to the point it blocks your intake or tail pipe.
It won’t be comfortable, but if you have some of the items in our Emergency and Winter car kits, you’ll survive until someone can get there to help you.
Need to get your car checked for winter driving? Call Speedy Roo Motorsports today for the next availability at 303.400.0625