Winter is here and so are the road trips. Plan your next vacation with these winter driving tips to have a memorable trip you will cherish for years!
Make sure your vehicle’s tires are up to the task:
Just as you would not take your kids to school with bald tires, it is important that your car can handle snow-covered roads before setting out on a journey. Ensure that the tread on the tire is deep enough that it does not wear down easily due to friction or the weight-bearing capacity of snow or slush which is about 1/10th of the normal load you put on it in summers. Having an extra set of chains for all four tires will come in very handy if conditions worsen during higher altitudes or places where the snow falls heavily.
Check the fluid levels:
Make sure you have enough antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, and gasoline in your car to complete your trip without stopping every few hours for gas or water. You can find out how much water or antifreeze is required by looking at your owner’s manual. If you do not have an owner’s manual, log on to any motor club website which will give you a general idea about the amount of fluid you require and the type of fluid that needs to be used in winters/summers. Keeping extra bottles of drinks and food items like coffee, tea bags, etc., as well as some blankets to keep yourself warm during those cold days is also recommended.
Give your vehicle a tune-up:
If you want to take up that road trip in winter, it is important that your ride is tuned properly and runs smoothly throughout the journey. Get it checked by a mechanic or bring it to an authorized dealer for service before you head out on your winter road trip. It will ensure you don’t have to walk back home when you find yourself stranded in uninviting conditions. This also includes checking if all lights are working fine, including brake lights and indicators.
Be aware of black ice:
Black ice occurs when temperatures fall below 0°C and there’s moisture on the ground along with lot of sunlight which makes roads very icy and dangerous especially at higher altitudes where snow covers the roads. Driving over black ice is not easy and the first sign of trouble is usually your car going out of control and losing grip on the road which can lead to accidents so it’s important you know what to do if this happens.
You should always drive slowly especially during winters as conditions aren’t as good as they are in summers and there’s a lot more chance for you to lose your grip on the road, but that doesn’t mean you just stop or go slow all the time because things like speed breakers, potholes, etc., can cause damage to your vehicle or it might get difficult for other vehicles behind you if you go too slow. It’s best to follow traffic and use common sense while driving.
Don’t stop if it’s not necessary:
If you’re out on a road trip during winters, avoid stopping your car unless it’s really necessary or you are in an emergency. Stopping every now and then will only make the journey longer because you have to start all over again once you resume your drive.
It is very important that you keep yourself warm throughout your travels especially if there are chances of snowfall or rains since this can make the roads slippery which means you should be even more careful while driving at high speeds to avoid any accidents due to weather conditions. Also, do not forget to take some snacks with you as well as blankets because food and warmth will help give strength to your body’s resistance against the cold.
Slow down if roads are slippery:
Most accidents especially those caused by black ice occur because the driver is not able to control the car and keeps on going at a fast speed even if it’s an uphill climb or there’s heavy snowfall etc., because of which he/she loses grip and ends up wrecking into something or somebody or falls off a cliff. Make sure that you go slow and don’t take risks when climbing hills during winters because your life is worth way more than any vehicle and it would be wise to wait until better conditions prevail before hitting the road again.
Carry emergency supplies:
If you’re taking up a long drive, ensure that you carry emergency supplies like food, water, blankets, and first-aid kits because no matter how prepared you are, there is always a chance that you might get stranded somewhere if your car suddenly breaks.
Keep an eye on road conditions:
Keeping yourself updated with traffic conditions will help avoid unpleasant surprises so make sure you check newspapers daily for updates about landslides, accidents, etc., as well as weather reports so that it becomes easier for you to plan the journey better and drive through areas where roads are clear or at least less dangerous than some other parts of the route.
Last but not the least; be patient. Even if it’s just one day before Christmas and an accident takes place resulting in heavy snowfall blocking roads all over the country, just be patient and stop somewhere if you’re out on a road trip as long as the area is safe for stopping. It’s not worth risking your life and it will pay off once better conditions prevail which will make driving easier.
during the winter season is a difficult task and it’s a good idea to avoid taking up long drives if possible because in most cases, accidents due to black ice have been known to have fatal endings.
So next time you’re planning on going out for a long drive, just think about these tips before actually heading out because that could help save your life!