Across much of the country, the potential for snow, ice and severe cold makes winter driving a challenge. So if you’re planning a holiday road trip, keep some tips in mind. Proceed with caution, and you’ll arrive safely at your destination.
- Make sure your car is up to the task. Have your car checked for mechanical problems, and do any needed maintenance before leaving town. If possible, choose a vehicle that is well-suited to winter driving conditions.
- Check the forecast. Online weather sites allow you to see what the weather will be like all along your route. If the forecast calls for a winter storm, you may need to adjust your route or your schedule. If necessary, cancel the trip.
- Pack extra supplies. On long holiday road trips, there is always the potential that a winter storm could leave you stranded along the way. Although the goal is to avoid getting stuck, it is a good idea to be prepared. Pack extra warm clothes or blankets in the car, as well as snack foods that don’t require cooking.
- Have plenty of fuel. Don’t wait until your tank is near empty before stopping to fill it up. If you do get stuck, you want to be able to run the engine (at least periodically) to stay warm.
- Allow extra distance for braking. In slick driving conditions, you simply cannot stop as quickly. Start slowing down long before a stop sign, and give the car in front of you a lot of space.
- Conserve momentum. On very slick roads, it is best to avoid stopping unnecessarily. As long as your car is moving, it does not take much effort or traction to keep it going. But when you stop, you lose all momentum, and your tires may not have enough traction to get your car moving again.
Image via Shutterstock.com