Roads in winter present various threats to motorists: slippery black ice, snow-covered potholes, crossing deer, etc. If you drive to work every day, you must be extra careful to avoid accidents or getting stuck outside during a snowstorm. A Dodge dealership in El Paso, TX lists some winter driving dos and don’ts you should observe.
DO drive more slowly
If you think you’re already driving slowly because you stay within the minimum speed limit, it’s different during a snowy winter day. Keep your speed at 30 mph when driving on a snow-covered or icy road. This helps shorten your braking distance and avoid a collision.
DON’T use cruise control
If you’ve been using cruise control for a while, it’s time to turn it off and take over. It’s dangerous to let the system regulate your speed, especially if you set the speed limit at around 60 or 70 mph. Just switch it on when winter is over, and the roads are dry again.
DO watch for crossing animals
While many animals hibernate in winter, some are well adapted to the freezing climate, such as elks and peccaries. They rarely interact with humans but can wander near communities and roads. Be mindful of movements along the road to see any animals trying to cross. You don’t want to hit them.
DON’T block the radiator
Your car’s radiator keeps the engine’s temperature in check by transferring some of the heat into your cabin and releasing the rest through the exhaust pipe. Dodge dealers in Alamogordo, NM explain that putting cardboard or anything that blocks the radiator could lead to the engine overheating or prevent heat from entering your cabin.
DO look out for black ice
Black ice refers to the thin layer of clear ice covering the road or pavement. It is most common during winter. It’s slippery even for vehicles with winter tires. Slow down if you notice that the road ahead looks darker than usual. If you drive too fast on a black-ice-covered road, you’ll lose traction and end in a ditch.
DON’T use old wiper blades
Replace your old wiper blades with winter wiper blades. These are thicker and harder, which allows them to handle snow and ice on the windshield better than standard wiper blades.
DO fill up the windshield fluid container
Winter windshield wiper blades are not enough to keep your windshield clear. You need the windshield smeared with washer fluid to prevent ice from forming and keep it dirt-free. Make sure to refill the windshield washer container before winter is in full swing.
DON’T drive with dirty headlights
If it’s a bleak and cloudy day, keep your headlights on when driving, even during the daytime. That may serve as an extra safety precaution, as it will let oncoming vehicles notice your car from a distance. Also, make sure they’re clean so they can light up your path well.
DO check tire pressure and tread
Use winter tires on a snowy road. The clue as to why this is so is in the name. These tires are thick and have more tread that adds traction on the road. Check your tire pressure as well before you hit the road. Tires typically deflate in cold temperatures.
DON’T forget to bring emergency supplies
Consider the route you take every time you travel. If it takes some time to reach a house, gas station, or diner from where you’ll come from, make sure to bring emergency supplies, including food, water, and a portable heater. You never know when the weather will go berserk and when your vehicle will break down.
Observing these dos and don’ts can increase your chance of keeping an active lifestyle in winter without having car breakdowns. Of course, it’s best to have your vehicle serviced before the weather worsens. Check out Viva CDJRF for more helpful tips.