Best Tips for Winter Driving
When roads get icy, it might seem the best driving tip is “don’t drive!” But, for most of us, this simply isn’t an option. Fortunately, with a few precautions and preparedness, you can drive safely in the winter and even maximize your fuel economy too.
Plan Your Route with Safety in Mind
If you absolutely must go out in harsh winter conditions, try to avoid areas that will make travel even more difficult. This includes hilly areas and back roads that may not be as properly maintained, salted and shoveled as main roads.
Know how to Take the Hills
If hills aren’t avoidable, follow these tips:
- Before attempting to drive on an incline, build up speed on a flat stretch of road
- Once on the hill, do not try to speed up as this will just cause your wheels to spin without helping you up the hill
- As you go down, do so as slowly and carefully as possible using your brakes to ease the way
Keep Emergency Supplies
Fortunately, with the advent of smartphones, safer cars and improved emergency response being stranded in winter is not as likely as it once was. However, if you are travelling late at night, live in a sparsely populated area or are taking less-traveled back roads you may be in for a longer wait if you have car trouble. To prepare for this, we recommend the following be in your car:
- Extra coats and/or blankets
- First-aid kit
- Bottled water
- Phone and charger
- A snow shovel
- A glass scraper
- Necessary medications (this is assuming your medications are safe to be in the cold)
- Energy drinks (if you find yourself in a position where you need to dig out of the snow, a hit of caffeine may be very welcomed)
Fuel Up Before You Go
It can be tempting to let our fuel run a little low when we’re in a hurry or looking for a cheaper gas station, but winter is the one time you should avoid this. Keeping your tank at least half full will ensure you have the power necessary to get home in bad conditions without having to stop.
Inflate Your Tires
Cold will cause your tires to lose pressure, so check them at least once a month. A poorly inflated tire is more likely to cause a blowout which will be especially dangerous in winter. Additionally, proper tire pressure improves contact with the road and overall ride experience.
Improving Fuel Efficiency in Winter
While safety is the top priority in driving, fuel efficiency is often a close second. Inflating your tires properly does double duty as it is not only a safety tip but a fuel saving one as well. For even more tips on saving fuel in winter, read How to Get Maximum Fuel Efficiency in Winter.
Ensure your Car is in Good Working Condition
Along with having properly inflated tires, you will also want to ensure all fluids are topped off, connections are checked, and dirty filters are replaced.
Unsure if your car will hold up for this winter? At Lebanon Chrysler Dodge we offer a wide selection of new and pre-owned vehicles to fit your needs and budget. Come in or call to learn more about our seasonal sales and generous financing, trade-in and bonus deals.