Traveling in severe weather is dangerous and frightening for travelers. In winter storms, adverse weather, and sloppy road conditions, nearly half a million crashes occur, according to Traffic Safety research. Drivers should be aware of the safety rules that apply in the event of a winter road emergency. The American Automobile Association recommends driving cautiously in adverse weather conditions.
Following are some tips from AAA for driving in snow or ice:
Cold weather driving tips
- If it is cold outside, make sure you have warm clothing, food, water, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, and medications in your car.
- Maintain proper tire inflation and tread depth.
- Make sure your vehicle has at least half a tank of fuel at all times.
- Avoid warming your vehicle in a garage or an enclosed area.
- Cruise control should never be used while driving on ice or snow.
Driving tips for snowy conditions
- Avoid venturing out. Avoid heading out unless it is absolutely necessary. No matter how well you drive in adverse weather, you should refrain from taking unnecessary risks.
- Driving slowly is the key. When driving on snow or ice, reduce your speed in order to account for the loss of traction.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Slowing down your acceleration will allow you to regain traction and avoid skidding. Take your time when you reach a stoplight and don’t rush. Slowing down is more difficult on icy roads.
- Follow at a distance of five to six seconds. It will be easier for you to stop if you have a wider margin of safety.
- Make sure your brakes are in proper working order. You should apply firm, steady pressure with the ball of your foot when pushing the brake pedal, regardless of whether your car has anti-lock brakes.
- Avoid stopping as much as possible. There’s a big difference in inertia when you’re rolling versus when you’re starting from a stop. The wise thing to do is slow down enough to avoid hitting traffic lights until they change.
- Avoid overpowering hills. On snow-covered roads, extra gas will make your wheels spin. You can allow inertia to take you to the top when you reach the hill. Speed should be reduced as you approach the crest of the hill and the descent should be slow.
- Climb hills without stopping. Getting moving up a hill is impossible on an icy road. Before you tackle the hill, ensure you have some inertia.
Tips for long-distance winter travel
- A AAA-Approved Auto Repair shop should inspect your vehicle before you hit the road.
- You should check the weather along your route before traveling and delay your trip if possible if severe weather is predicted.
- You should notify others of your route, destination, and estimated arrival time before you set out.
- Snowed in? The following tips may help:
- Stay in your vehicle to provide temporary shelter and make it easier for rescuers to locate you. During a severe storm, walking is not recommended. The blowing snow makes it easy to lose track of your vehicle and lose your bearings.
- As soon as you begin to feel tired, stop digging out your vehicle. Be careful not to overdo it.
- If you want to signal distress, tie a brightly colored cloth to your vehicle’s antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled-up window. At night, leave the dome light on if you can. Due to the device’s small size and power consumption, rescuers will be able to find you more quickly.
- Snow, ice, and mud should be removed from the exhaust pipe. When a vehicle’s exhaust pipe is blocked, deadly carbon monoxide gas can leak into the passenger compartment.
- Keeping yourself warm should be your priority when it comes to protecting yourself from the cold. Maps, floor mats, and newspapers can all be used for this. Be prepared for emergencies by packing blankets and heavy clothing.
- The engine and heater should be run for a short period of time to remove the chill. The result will be a reduction in fuel consumption.