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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!

Winter Driving Tips

winter driving tipsDriving in the winter in Minnesota can be a challenge. Each day is different from the previous day, and sometimes each hour can mean drastic differences in weather and road conditions. It isn’t uncommon to drive from one Minnesota destination to another and experience pockets of icy roads and poor visibility, only to drive out of it completely within miles.

One thing is certain, however, and that it’s best to be prepared for the unknown. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

A few Winter Driving Tips to Consider

Make sure your vehicle is well maintained, including oil changes, tire checks, and fluid refills. Give extra attention to any warning lights that are on and take necessary precautions to take care of any issues prior to heading out for any distance.

While it’s nice to warm up your vehicle before you leave or use a remote start, never let a vehicle run in a closed area such as a garage. Open a door for clean air exchange.

Keep your gas tank as full as possible. Never let it really low or “run on fumes” in the cold weather. Even with modern vehicles and technology, gas lines can freeze.

Avoid using cruise control. In Minnesota, it’s common to have clear roads in rural areas until you approach a bridge or wind break from buildings or trees. All of a sudden you can be driving on glare ice, and it’s too late to decide about cruise control. It’s much easier to gently take your foot off the gas.

Never skip wearing your seat belt. This year has already claimed lives on the terrible winter roads, as well as countless other accidents and mishaps. Be safe, alert, and careful.

Don’t take unnecessary chances. If storms are approaching, local authorities are advising no travel, ice on a lake is questionable… don’t drive. Stay home.

Keep your windshield wipers in good working condition so you can clear snow or slush from passing vehicles.

You need two working headlights. Don’t drive in winter conditions without lights. It’s not always about you, but rather if other oncoming vehicles and vehicles behind you can see you.

Make sure you have a windshield scraper, shovel, jumper cables, warm clothes, blankets, and winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Check road conditions before you head out.