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Winter Driving Tips So You Can Drive Safely in the Snow

We’re heading toward our coldest month in Okotoks: January. This is when temperatures get as low as minus-13 degrees Celsius on average. Winter is also a time when we can average as much as 26 cm of snow. Central Auto Care wants to share some winter driving tips to help you stay safe throughout the colder months. Even if you’re an experienced driver in inclement weather, it’s a good idea to give yourself a refresher course to avoid breaking down or getting into an automobile accident.

General Cold-Weather Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

It’s important to be prepared for any emergency, including getting stranded on icy roads. Make sure to pack an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes supplies for you and your car. Include food and water, blankets or warm clothing, a flashlight with extra batteries, and supplies for your vehicle in the event it breaks down. Keep your tires at the proper psi, always keep the gas tank filled to half or more, don’t warm up your vehicle in an enclosed space, and don’t use your cruise control on slick roads.

Driving Tips When it’s Snowing or Has Snowed

The best tip of all when it comes to driving in the snow is don’t do it unless you absolutely have to. If you can stay home, do so to avoid the dangers of driving on slick and icy roads. Other tips include

  • Don’t push your vehicle’s speed beyond each road’s safety; slow down to account for the slippery and dangerous driving conditions to avoid losing control of your automobile.
  • Slow down and speed up very slowly so your tires do not lose traction on the road, and don’t follow drivers in front of you too closely. Use snow tires or tire chains if necessary.
  • Keep in mind it can take more than twice as long to slow down and stop on icy roads, so take this into account while you’re driving and give yourself plenty of time and space.
  • Understand how to brake during a snowstorm or when you’re driving on slippery roads. With your heel on the floor, use the ball of your foot to slowly and steadily depress the brake pedal.
  • Avoid stopping and going if possible. This can cause your tires to lose their traction, so rolling is better than stopping if your current driving conditions allow for it.
  • Avoid hills if you can. Powering up a hill will make your wheels lose their traction and spin. If you must go up a hill, try to get the momentum before you reach the hill.
  • Don’t stop on a hill. You might not be able to get your vehicle moving again from the stop and, worse, you may lose traction and slide down backwards.

Safety first when it comes to driving in the snow, so you should also make certain your vehicle is in the best shape possible. Call Central Auto Care in Okotoks, AB, to schedule a vehicle inspection. We’ll take care of any potential problems before the dead of winter is upon us.

Photo by FatCamera from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro
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