Winter Driving Tips
By: AARP Driver Safety | from: AARP | January 1, 2010
To keep yourself safe on the road in winter weather, follow these driving tips:
- Winterize your vehicle to make sure your brakes, wipers, defroster, headlights and heater are all working properly.
- Stop gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
- Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to other motorists, and keep your lights clean and free of ice or debris.
- In unfavorable driving conditions, reduce your speed and increase the distance between your car and the one in front of you. Remember that it takes more time to stop on icy roads.
- Stay alert. Look ahead to give yourself more time to react safely to situations without suddenly braking or skidding.
- Before driving, clear snow and ice from your vehicle’s hood, windows and roof.
- Use snow or all-season tires or chains for better traction and smoother slowing. But remember that regardless of the tires you use, no tire allows you to drive on snow or ice at normal speeds.
- Take extra precautions on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas, which can freeze first and remain icy longer than roadways do. A road on which ice and snow are completely frozen is pretty slippery, even though it provides more traction than a road with melting ice.
- In wet driving conditions avoid driving faster than the windshield wipers can clear water from the windshield. Make sure your wiper blades are in good shape and replace them yearly.
- Equip your car with emergency supplies, such as a blanket, food, water, spare fuses, a flashlight with batteries, an ice scraper, flares and a first-aid kit.