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How to Drive Safely in Winter Weather Conditions November 04, 2019

Winter driving takes patience and a bit of planning. However, unless the snow is so deep that you just can't get over it, most winter driving hazards can be managed. Give yourself time and space to get where you need to go safely.

Drive Slow

Allow plenty of time for traveling in the winter. Remember that elevated roadways are the first to get slippery, so plan to take lower, slower routes when needed. Give yourself plenty of space between the front of your car and the back of the next, and if someone is too close to your back bumper, move into the slower lane. Finally, know where the snow removal routes are in your area. If you absolutely have to drive, plan a route to quickly get to a snow route and be ready to follow a plow if things are dangerous.

Get Winter Tires

Don't go into hazardous driving season on bad tread. First of all, this will put you and others at risk if you have a blow-out. Second, you don't want to be changing your tire in the slush and cold. Both snow and all-season options will keep you safer than old, worn-out tires. If you're not sure yours are in good shape, check your tread before the first snowfall. The deep tread on snow tires in particular will help you get safely through snowy conditions.

Drive with Your Lights On

Keeping your lights on when the snow is flying will keep you and other drivers safer. Not only can snow obstruct your ability to see other cars, but swirling snow patterns can distract and obstruct the vision of both you and other drivers on the road. If you need to have your wipers on to clear snow, sleet or rain from your windshield, turn on your lights too. Check your washer fluid to make sure you're ready for snow, salt and sand. Many de-icing products applied to roadways can cling to your car and make it hard to see, so be diligent about cleaning your windows both while driving and when you fuel up. 

Winter driving isn't easy. If conditions are extremely dangerous and you can work from home, do so. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going and make sure your washer fluid is topped up. Finally, keep your gas tank at least half full if snow is in the forecast. If you have to go slowly or idle through a long line of other slow cars, there's no worry about running out of fuel.
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