In this post, Stillman and Friedland get into the nitty-gritty of winter driving. Now that we are past the Thanksgiving holiday and in the run-up to Christmas, real winter driving conditions are just up ahead. In the video below, you can learn (or re-learn) how to handle your car and maximize your ABS braking system under icy road conditions.
Just as importantly, you will see that the right tires can make a world of difference when driving on snowy and icy roads:
In addition to good basic driving skills and the right tires for winter, you will need to make sure your car is in good condition for winter cold, and that you have the right gear aboard in case of accident, impassable road conditions, or other mishaps. The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration has an extensive guide for essential vehicle maintenance; in this segment, we offer a few of the steps you can take to get winter-ready.
One quick tip you might not have thought of—check to see if any recalls or defect notices have been issued on your car model or tires. Driving problems in bad weather make any malfunction more dangerous. Check the NHTSA’s recall alerts, or subscribe to get them automatically. Click here and choose how to get alerts—via email, app or even Facebook or Twitter.
Has your car been fully serviced recently? Winter conditions are the hardest for your car. If you have ever prayed that the engine will start on an especially cold day, you know exactly what we are talking about. Getting your car serviced is just the smart thing to do. Make sure you have no loose wires, no leaky hoses, and that brake fluid, motor oil and transmission fluid, and anti-freeze are all adequate.
Don’t forget to have them check if your winter road-ready tires are properly balanced! Not only do tires need to be right for driving in snow and icy conditions, they should also be maintained for correct tire pressure and checked for wear.
Another key issue is visibility. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and that you have an ice scraper/brush handy. Don’t forget to brush off front and rear lights if needed, not just the windshield.
Stillman and Friedland remind you to always be prepared when winter conditions are at hand. In the next segment we will review gear you will need in case of emergency and severe conditions.