Whether this is your first winter on the road or your 50th, it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory about how to handle the constantly changing and sometimes dangerous driving conditions we’ll be seeing over the next six months.
Respect fall driving conditions
It’s tempting to assume you’re safe to drive like normal until the snow starts falling. But frost conditions can happen any time now and if it happens to rain or even drizzle a little, you might suddenly find yourself sliding.
It’s best to approach any wet driving conditions with caution. Bridges, ramps and shady areas can be surprisingly slick even when the rest of the road is fine.
Stay on high alert when driving in the morning
The high that day might be 60 degrees, but the overnight frost needs time to melt. Take it slow and save the sips of coffee for the stop lights.
Ease into snow driving
It seems like everyone needs to relearn how to drive on snow every year. Set a good example and drive like your car is brand new.
If it’s slippery for you, it’s slippery for everyone
Keep in mind that pedestrians and cyclists are trying to stay upright on slippery streets, too. Give everyone extra space. Tapping another car’s bumper in slow motion is no big deal but tapping a pedestrian can end in tragedy.
All the stop-go action at intersections can result in wheels polishing ice into shockingly slippery spots even in otherwise safe conditions.
Ice comes in many flavors
We all know that the dreaded black ice is the most dangerous, but there’s a rainbow of other icy conditions that you might encounter all in the same one-mile drive. Remember, ice can be virtually invisible at times. Respect the ice and you’ll be more likely to get through winter without a scratch.
Let snowplows do their jobs
Trying to pass a plow is one of the most dangerous winter driving moves in the book. It’s better to be ten minutes late than be in the emergency room.
Stock an emergency kit
Every car should have a winter emergency kit, including jumper cables, a shovel, traction helpers like kitty litter, non-perishable food, blankets and a first-aid kit.