Proficient winter driving requires a combination of two things: a properly winterized vehicle and good driving habits.
The first item is actually the easy one. Just go through a checklist to ensure that your vehicle is properly equipped and maintained to handle any challenging road conditions you might encounter.
· Mounted winter or all-weather tires? Check.
· Installed new wiper blades? Check.
· Packed an emergency survival kit? Check.
And so on…
When it comes to winter driving habits, however, it’s about your own mindset. To keep you safe on the roads, we’ve come up with several New Year’s resolutions that will help you commit to becoming a safer driver.
1. I Will Give Myself Extra Time to Reach My Destination
Expected travel times can increase in winter due to a number of reasons:
· Poor road conditions
· Accidents along the way
· Slower traffic
Additionally, you’ll also have to spend a little extra time doing things like shoveling walkways and driveways, warming up your vehicle, brushing off the snow and scraping windshields.
All of this takes extra time. Planning ahead will help ensure you make it to your scheduled appointments on time.
2. I Will Turn on My Headlights When It’s Foggy
Many drivers don’t feel it’s necessary to use their headlights during the day if their vehicle is equipped with daytime running lights (DLRs). Under normal conditions, that would be fine. But when daytime visibility is impeded—by snow or fog, for example—it affects the ability of other drivers to see you.
What some people don’t realize is that your taillights don’t shine when you only use your DLRs. As a result, the drivers behind you are less likely to notice you.
3. I Will Drive According to Road Conditions
After winter’s first good dump of snow, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll see a few vehicles resting in the ditch the following morning. If the roads clear up before the next round of flurries, the scene repeats itself.
Simply put, we forget how to drive in the snow. By taking the time to ease into winter driving mode, you’re more likely to avoid any mishaps. This includes:
· Assessing how your vehicle handles in current conditions
· Slowing down for corners
· Giving yourself more braking distance when approaching a stop
· Allowing more space between you and the driver in front of you
Check out our post 10 Winter Driving Tips to learn more about how to help stay safe on the roads, whatever the weather.
4. I Will Not Tailgate Other Drivers
If you’ve ever been tailgated by another driver, you know it can be a scary and dangerous (not to mention illegal) experience.
Particularly in winter, when braking distances increase as road conditions worsen, you might not have the stopping ability to avoid an accident if you’re too close to the person in front of you.
So whether you’re running late for work or you’re hurrying for some other reason, slow down! Better to arrive late than not at all.
To make sure your vehicle is as prepared for winter driving as you are, visit your local Kal Tire store. We carry a full range of supplies and accessories, including chains, winter tires and wheels, wiper blades and batteries.