It’s important to remember that as the weather changes, so does the environment in which you drive in. Whether it is the traffic, the wind and the rain affecting your visuals, the cold or the heat affecting your tire pressure, or the weather affecting the physical road conditions, you must keep in mind the environmental changes around you and stay aware and cautious while driving when the seasons change. This is especially applicable to the winter months. Here in Texas, many of us are not totally comfortable nor experienced driving on icy roads, so it’s important to be aware and knowledgeable as to how to properly do so. So, let’s discuss a few driving safety tips for driving during the winter…
#1 Slow down
It’s important to keep in mind that speed limits are set and based on what is safe for normal road and weather conditions, not for winter road conditions. Therefore, when it’s really cold, wet, or icy, you definitely should be driving much slower than normal. Use extra caution and stay focused, distractions during winter road conditions are even more deadly than in typical or normal weather conditions. If you are driving too fast in winter conditions, you will have even less control or ability to handle your car if you somehow lose control of the vehicle.
#2 Watch your following distance
During winter road conditions, you should make sure to maintain an extra-long following distance behind other vehicles. Typically, it is advised that one maintain about a two-second trailing distance behind another vehicle. However, during winter months, it is best to maintain about three times this amount to be at a safe distance. This means you should be about six seconds behind cars driving in front of you.
#3 Be aware of your surroundings
Although you should always be focused on the road while driving, this is even more important during particular weather conditions, especially in the winter. Make sure to be focused, and completely aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for snow plows and snow removal machines and make sure to stay at least 200 feet behind the snow plows. Be especially careful to look out for ice on the roads. And remember that bridges, ramps, and overpasses, as well as shaded areas, have a tendency to freeze first in cold weather. Take extra care and caution when driving over these types of surfaces.
#4 Know how to handle your car on ice
If your vehicle hits ice and begins to slide, DO NOT attempt to stop it by pressing down on the brakes. This will worsen the situation and cause your car to slide more. Ease up and remove pressure from the gas pedal, as well as release the brakes, then turn your steering wheel in the direction in which you are skidding/sliding until your tires regain traction, then straighten your vehicle.
You also should remember to prepare your vehicle for the winter months. This means you should go in for winter car maintenance in McKinney. Has your car winterized? Also, have a mechanic check your vehicle to ensure it is in proper condition to handle the winter roads. Head over to our McKinney car shop today, and we will get you sorted. Here at Nortex Lube and Tune, our automotive experts can make sure you and your vehicle are entirely prepared for the winter driving conditions.