8 Tips for Winter Driving

8 Tips for Winter Driving
![Ice, Ice baby.](http://buyersguide.carsoup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/00-Main-8-Tips-for-Winter-Driving-v2.jpg)Ice, ice baby.
In much of the country, winter arrived earlier than expected, bringing treacherous road conditions in the form of ice and snow. CarSoup.com has advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an Iowa driving instructor who has hands-on experience, and the National Safety Council – all to make your winter driving experience as safe as possible.

Prep your car

**1. Know your vehicle **
Understand your car’s capabilities and what it can or can’t do in the snow. You need to know how your vehicle handles skids, what it feels like when anti-lock brakes engage and in general, how your car performs, based on its weight, design and whether it’s front-, rear-or four-wheel drive.
– Ron Bandy owner, Ron Bandy Driver Education

2. Pre-check (just like the pilots do….)
Check your vehicle’s components before heading out: lights, wipers, battery, belts, tires and brakes. Make sure the windshield washer fluid and coolant level are adequate and the right type. (A 50/50 mix of coolant to distilled water is sufficient to avoid freezing in most regions of the country. For washer fluid, opt for high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer.)
– NHTSA

3. Minimize battery drain on electric or hybrid-electric vehicles
If the vehicle has a thermal heating pack for the batteries, keep the car plugged in when not in use. For vehicles with a pre-heat function, use it to warm the car interior while the vehicle is still plugged in.
– NHTSA

4. Clear the snow
Always clean ice and snow from your windows, the forward sensors, headlights, taillights and backup camera before moving your car so you have maximum visibility.
– NHTSA
**
5. Scope out alternate routes**
Listen to weather reports and be alert to road closings to avoid being trapped on streets or highways that have become impassible due to accidents or road conditions.
– Ron Bandy owner, Ron Bandy Driver Education

Driving

6. Give yourself time
When roads are icy or snow covered, you’ll have less traction. This means you need to go slower and allow more stopping space between your vehicle and the others on the road.
– Ron Bandy owner, Ron Bandy Driver Education

7. Read the road
Learn how to identify areas of greater hazard: bridges and overpasses, spots of “black ice” and heavily packed and glazed sections where cars stop frequently, such as at intersections.
– Ron Bandy owner, Ron Bandy Driver Education

8. Stay focused
Winter driving requires additional concentration so you can focus on road condition, your speed and other vehicles. Listen to the engine so you know what’s going on and also just feel the car and how it’s reacting.
– Ron Bandy owner, Ron Bandy Driver Education

Know Your Stuff BONUS: Stranded?
Stuck? Here are three safety tips from the National Safety Council.
1. Stay in your vehicle unless you know exactly where you are, how close help is and if you’re certain leaving your car will improve your situation.
2. Check your exhaust pipe for any obstruction or blockage (snow or ice, for example) before running the engine. (Aim for 10 minutes every hour to conserve fuel.)
3. Slightly open a window to avoid being trapped inside by heavy snow and ice.

Thank you to the Ron Bandy, owner at Ron Bandy Driver Education, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council.


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