Old man winter will be here soon, and with winter’s arrival comes colder temperatures, snow, and ice.  These conditions present a hazard to anyone on the road.  To stay safe and enjoy all the pleasures of winter weather, read this month’s blog.  We examine winter driving methods and ways to stay safe in the unlikely event of a break down.

Safe Winter Driving

The key to driving in winter conditions is to realize that snow and ice reduce your ability to control your vehicle’s speed, traction, and braking.  One rule of thumb is to always adjust your driving habits when in snow and ice to compensate for these road hazards.

Here are some other important driving tips to manage winter road challenges:

  • Protect your vehicle with snow tires or tire chains if you plan to drive in heavy snow or ice.
  • Slow down on icy and snowy roads and maintain extra distance from other vehicles in front and the sides of your vehicle.
  • Use less gas when needing to slow down. When slowing down, release your foot from the gas before applying the brakes.
  • When stopping, slowly depress the brake pedal. Avoid hard braking – this will cause your vehicle to slide or spin out of control.
  • Learn how to steer when in a skid. Turn in the direction that your rear wheels are skidding.  If you are skidding to the right, turn to the right.  This is very tricky so only attempt this if you have had practice or are with an experienced winter driver.
  • Don’t speed downhill. Keep your foot on the brake lightly to keep the vehicle from gaining too much speed.
  • Don’t stop or slow uphill. Maintain your speed and momentum until you reach the crest of a hill.

Stay Safe in a Breakdown

There are times when your vehicle may breakdown for mechanical reasons, or because of extreme weather conditions.  Preparation and knowledge is key to staying safe until help arrives.

Follow these tips:

  1. Pull your vehicle off the road to a safe area.
  2. Keep your motor running only to warm up the inside of your vehicle. Don’t run your vehicle unless the exhaust pipe is cleared of any snow.
  3. Contact 911 for emergencies, or roadside assistance to get a tow or help with your vehicle.
  4. Always dress warmly when using your vehicle in cold weather conditions. Keep extra hat, gloves, jackets, and a blanket in the vehicle.
  5. Keep an emergency roadside kit with items like flares, jumper cables, salt or cat litter, flashlights, small tools, safety cones, and other items.
  6. Mark your vehicle with safety cones and place a brightly colored cloth on the door or antenna for roadside assistance.
  7. Avoid using your mobile phone for tasks other than contacting for help. Keep it charged.
  8. Stay with your vehicle and remain calm.

Having a vehicle breakdown can be a very scary experience – a breakdown in winter conditions can pose many other threats to your safety.  Be prepared by learning more about how to stay safe in this type of situation.

If you would like to have your vehicle maintained for winter driving, contact us today at Campus Repair to schedule an appointment.  Our service professionals will inspect your vehicle and make the necessary repairs to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely all winter long.