Surviving Winter Driving

While some fortunate motorists and automobiles endure a winter season simply by wearing pants or a jacket during cooler temperatures, upper parts of the North American continent are routinely introduced to a change in lifestyle between December to April. The downpour of flurries and sometimes blistery cold climate conditions causes many to rethink their driving plans. For many drivers, a winter wonderland becomes a winter wasteland as they attack the snowy or sometimes icy roads in varying degrees of preparedness.

In order to imprint safe winter driving habits onto the roads and highways, the following suggestions are worthwhile practices before venturing out in white-powdered conditions:

Drive for the conditions

The speed limit is a ‘speed limit’! While it is still enticing to drive at the posted speed, the signs are posted for safe driving during ideal, dry conditions. Through situations of decreased visibility and reduced traction, it’s responsible driving to maintain a lower speed being mindful that you want to provide yourself with maximum response time.

In order to best accomplish this feat, leave for destinations allowing for an extra couple minutes prior to your driving trip.

Prepare for best weather visibility

Do not fall victim of using summer weather windshield washer fluid. Identified often as pink in colour, this seasonal fluid will quickly freeze under cold weather making it ineffective for clearing the driver’s forward view. Winter windshield washer fluid An all-season windshield washer also presents itself as a effective in most winter driving with resistance to freezing rated at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Worth consideration, winter windshield wipers are also available providing a much more robust design suited for clearing heavier, icier precipitation.

Consider Winter Tires

Due to some outstanding developments with tire design, motorists can enjoy incredible grip and security through the addition of specified rubber on their vehicles. Applying a more aggressive tread to the snow-covered road surface, winter or snow tires also possess a tire construction ideally formatted for colder weather with a compound designed to retain better elasticity.

There are many individuals who believe that winter or snow tires is a must have for all vehicles during the cooler seasons of driving. In fact the Canadian province of Quebec believes in the safety advantages of winter tires so heavily they have passed a law making the equipment mandatory on all registered vehicles. Tire companies and automakers also strongly suggest all four wheels can fitted with colder weather rubber. Costing between $500-800 to equipment an entire vehicle, you also have to add installation as well as removal of wheels and tires into your vehicle’s budget.

However, while winter tires offer improved traction over all-season tires, don’t be lured into a false sense overconfidence. Much like the situation of all-wheel drive vehicles, some motorists are led to believe snow tires allows them to exercise less caution when traveling in winter conditions which can still be hazardous.

Thoroughly Brush Snow Off Vehicle

Due to lack of advanced preparation or even the proper equipment, an alarmingly high number of drivers lead to the open roads with a significant accumulation of snow on their vehicles. Often but not limited to sport utility vehicles, minivans and crossovers, some motorists avoid brushing snow off their vehicle’s roof. You’ll be surprised how much of a tell-tale sign snow removal from an automobile is to the driver behind the wheel. Snow-covered cars being driven on public roads seem to have a higher than average regard for others sharing the streets and highways. Evidently, this snow is going to blow off and could potential create a danger for any parties using the motorways. If spotted by law enforcement, this could even be considered a serious enough offense to be pulled over certain to cost you the time taken away from thoroughly brushing off your vehicle.

If you own a taller vehicle but have found cleaning the roof too difficult with a standard automotive snow brush, please invest into one of several snow removal tools developed specifically for SUVs and minivans offering longer reaches.

Being only a handful of ideas to better handle winter driving, other ideas such as utilizing engine block heaters, packing an emergency kit inside of a vehicle and regularly checking weather reports are also precautionary measures which can assure a safe trip during winter.

Information source: Rain-X, Bridgestone
Photo source: BMW, Michelin

About The Author

Admiring automobiles ever since childhood viewership of the TV show Knight Rider, Chris Nagy grew as an enthusiast enroute to become an automotive and motorsport writer. Drawn to the rich world of motoring, Chris discovers charm everywhere in the industry from supercars like the Bugatti Veyron to a Kia Soul. Car design, engineering, performance and the passion itself fuels his daily existence.

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