Winter is in full swing here in the Midwest and even though winter brings snow days, hot chocolate by the fireplace, snowmen and some other fun, winter weather is not nearly as fun to drive in. Winter weather driving provides an entirely new set of challenges than the other seasons so make sure you are prepared for the continued winter weather with these tips. By implementing them you will feel more comfortable making a journey through the seasonal winter wonderland.
1. Keep Yourself Updated
During the winter season the weather can go from a bright and sunny day to a blizzard overnight, so it is important to keep yourself updated with the current and predicted weather. Check the 7-day forecast at the beginning of each week and check the 2-day forecast regularly so that you are prepared for what weather to expect when driving each day. Often times you may find yourself running out the door without checking the upcoming weather and this can be dangerous during the winter season. You never want to end up stuck in a snowstorm when you could have prevented it from happening. By checking the weather forecast ahead of time you will save yourself the trouble of getting stuck in unforeseen winter weather conditions. By keeping updated on the weather forecasts you can decide ahead of time whether it is worth it to drive in the bad weather, if you can leave earlier or later to avoid the weather, or find a better route given weather conditions.
2. Give Yourself Extra Time
When winter weather hits your area it is important to have realistic expectations for the amount of time it will take to get from place to place. When it snows or rains and then freezes over you will need to remember to budget in time to perform extra, non-typical tasks. Some of these tasks include cleaning off your car of ice or snow, letting your car warm up, or defrosting your windows. On top of these extra tasks, make sure you expect your travel time to take longer than normal. It is extra important to not feel rushed while driving in winter weather conditions so that you take fewer risks. By giving yourself extra time you will be prepared if you get stuck behind a snowplow clearing the roads or if there is an accident on the road due to winter weather conditions. It is always best to give yourself more time when driving in the winter since there are many extra factors that can affect your driving time.
3. Have the Proper Equipment
It is important to make sure that your car is in proper shape before and throughout the winter session. This means performing any regular maintenance on your car before the winter so that your car is as prepared as you are for the weather. The winter season is the most dangerous time for you to break down while driving so it is important to perform regular maintenance to avoid that sort of complication. Make sure you keep a snow remover tool in your car for if it snows when you are parked outside and for long distance trips it is best to pack food, blankets, a flashlight, water and any medications that might be needed in the case of an emergency. It is always better to be extra prepared in case something goes wrong, and having the right tools and equipment is a great start to being prepared.
4. Stay Focused
Distracted driving is a temptation we all face in this day and age. Everyone has a phone that could be ringing or buzzing at any time and the temptation is to pick it up even if you are driving. You may be running late and decide to eat your breakfast in the car, making you a distracted driver. It is crucial that you never drive distracted since when driving you take great responsibility for yourself and for others on the road. It is especially important to be focused during winter weather. You should be alert and attentive to any changing weather or road conditions and keep extra distance between you and the cars in front of you. Keep your surroundings in mind while driving and watch out for other drivers who may not be as focused as you. Driving in winter weather can be stressful, so don’t be afraid to pull off the road if you get too uncomfortable or simply need a break.
All in all, winter weather makes driving more difficult than usual and it is important to stay updated on weather and road conditions, give yourself extra time when traveling, have the proper equipment and to stay focused. We hope you feel better prepared for winter driving and make it through the season without any driving complications!
Want to make sure your car is ready for winter driving? You can head to our services department to have your vehicle inspected and get a fresh tune-up!
Think it’s time to upgrade to a vehicle that can handle the snow better? Check out our new inventory today!