Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Driving TipsWe are in the middle of winter in Minnesota. There will be snow, ice and cold weather. It is impossible to avoid it, so always keep safe winter driving tips in mind. Some tips may seem basic, but a simple refresher can be helpful as we get comfortable in our habits.

10 Winter Driving Tips:

  1. Increase your following distance. Snow and ice make stopping more difficult. Give yourself space.
  2. See and be seen. Keep snow and frost off windows, mirrors, lights and reflectors.
  3. Plan before you travel. Be aware of the weather conditions. Check 511 for road conditions, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org. Stay home if conditions are bad and you don’t need to travel.
  4. Check tire pressure. Make sure your tire pressure is where it should be for your tires and vehicle. Cold weather can cause tire pressure fluctuations.
  5. Take your time. Fast acceleration and braking can cause spinning and loss of control when driving on snow and ice.
  6. Replace worn tires. This will help give you better control in snow and ice.
  7. Don’t panic. Remain calm. If you hit icy conditions don’t brake. Try to steer straight and don’t accelerate.
  8. Pack a winter survival kit. In case you get stranded it is best to be prepared.
  9. Watch out for other drivers. You don’t have control over what other drivers do. Give them space.
  10. Give snowplows space.  Snowplows are trying to improve road conditions, but they are watching many things and have limited visibility.

 

These are just a few tips to remember. AAA offers a thorough list of winter driving tips to provide a refresher for the next time you find yourself driving in snow, ice and frigid Minnesota cold. Stay warm!

Assemble Your Winter Road Survival Kit

Your Tire Zoo crew works hard everyday to help keep families safe on the road. When you live in Minnesota, or anywhere in the upper Midwest, winter poses some extra road hazards for families, commuters, and transportation drivers. Staying safe and being ready for winter situations means keeping your tires in top notch condition AND assembling a winter survival kit to keep with you through the winter months.

While a winter survival kit in every vehicle is critical, many people opt to update it for the seasons and keep it stored in the trunk all year long.

winter survival kit for Minnesota, jumper cables

Winter Survival Kit Ideas:

  • Winter coat, hat, and gloves
  • One or more blankets
  • First-aid kit
  • Non-perishable food such as granola bars, or crackers; even just some hard candy can help (If you have kids and allow eating in the car many of us could live for a couple days with what we find on the floor and between seats, don’t forget to check under the car-seat 🙂
  • “Strike anywhere” matches in a water-tight container
  • Candles and an empty coffee can to melt snow; a cup is a good idea as well
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Small tool kit or at least an all purpose tool
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow Rope
  • Reflector Triangles
  • List of Helpful Numbers: Insurance Company, AAA, Towing, Tire Zoo

 

Staying Safe This Winter While Driving in Minnesota

What happens if I get a flat tire while driving in the cold, winter weather?

The most important thing to remember is to stay safe. Minnesota weather makes this critical, as we endure snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. We’ll get your tire fixed in no time, but worry about “the right now.”

At the first sign of trouble it is important to pull your car off the road and away from other traffic.

 

The First Sign of Trouble

Unfamiliar Noise? Trouble steering or controlling the vehicle? Debris in the road?

If you happen to be on the interstate, head slowly for the exit ramp. On a rural road, look for a wide shoulder or field approach. Once you have stopped your vehicle, it is important to warn oncoming traffic that you are there. You can do this by turning your flashers on, as well as turning on your interior light. Also if you have them, use reflector triangles behind your vehicle; they are a good item to keep in your Minnesota Winter Survival Kit.

If you can not get off the highway and are not well versed in changing tires I would recommend calling a tow truck. (Another good item to have in your Minnesota Winter Survival Kit is a list of critical phone numbers). If you are in the metro area during rush hour times, another option would be to wait for a highway helper to stop by. If you are worried about safety or have children with you and weather/traffic conditions are dangerous, 911 is an option to guide you toward the best options for your situation and location.

Once you are safe, you can call us and we’ll help you get your tire fixed or replaced with a new or comparable used tire.

What’s your worst flat tire story? We’d love to hear from you.

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