Bear Creek Towing always experiences a massive increase in calls from stranded drivers over the winter months. To help you avoid accidents and dangerous situations, we have made a list of our top 6 winter driving safety tips. Check below and ask yourself how many you are already following this winter.
- Be prepared for all situations. Driving in winter comes with the risk of getting snowed in, breaking down, and getting stuck waiting for hours in freezing temperatures. Keep your vehicle stocked with warm clothes, tools, and emergency supplies. You can refer to our winter driving checklist previously published.
- Ensure your tires are suitable for driving in severe conditions. Before it starts snowing, you should have a professional check the treads of your tires. You might need to replace some tires or have them rotated if the treads have worn down. For extremely icy conditions you should use tire chains. Learn how to put them on yourself and practice doing it before you actually need to. When the time comes to use them, you can avoid an hour-long struggle with the instruction manual and frostbitten fingers.
- Lower your speed. Speed limits are set for ideal the driving conditions. When there is snow, hail or ice on the road, everybody should be driving cautiously and well below the limit. Leave ample space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Decreasing your speed during winter may cause your commute to take longer. Just factor this into your daily routine and leave 15 minutes earlier.
- Avoid driving in terrible weather. That’s right, just don’t drive. If you feel that your vehicle is not capable of handling dangerous road conditions, just don’t do it. Keep your fridge stocked up, put off unnecessary journeys and notify your workplace. Most employers are very understanding of these situations and will make allowances, or let you work from home if possible.
- Don’t use cruise control. Although a wonderful invention, cruise control does not consider the variables of winter driving conditions. Using cruise control on snowy or icy roads can put you at risk of losing control and causing an accident.
- Improve your braking During and after heavy snowfall, the best approach is to pump the brakes to slow down gently. On icy roads, prepare for your braking distance to double. Slow down before stop signs and traffic lights well ahead of time and ease on the brakes. Remember, it is not always possible to see ice on the road, but if the temperature is close to freezing, you should presume there is ice. If you start to skid, first release the gas pedal, then turn into the direction of the skid without slamming on the brakes.
Follow these winter driving safety tips to lower your risk of accidents. Trust your own judgment, and if conditions worsen while you are driving, pull over to wait out the worst of it. Remember, if you do get stranded or experience an accident, our team at Bear Creek Towing offers a 24/7 roadside recovery and towing service. Give us a call, and we’ll help you out.