In this part, let’s talk about handling winter roads by driving with the right attitude and expectations.
Drive With A Winter Frame Of Mind – Winter driving often becomes frustrating due to having warm weather driving habits, expectations and behaviors. Cold weather driving becomes easier when you’re realistic. Winter travel takes more patience, care and planning. A 30 minute drive during clear, sunny and dry conditions is no longer possible under snowy, slick or icy conditions. Minimize your frustration and increase your chances for safe travel by doing the following:
- allow more distance between you and the car ahead of you as safe braking distances are MUCH longer on slick roads
- slow down
- watch for icy conditions, especially on bridges and overpasses
- keep your headlights on so that your car is more visible to other drivers
- don’t start driving until your windows are clear of frost, snow, etc.
- clear snow and ice from your vehicle’s lights
- leave for destinations earlier, expecting that travel will take significantly longer
- drive with a higher level of awareness of traffic and road conditions
- clear snow from the top of your car so that it doesn’t later obscure the view of other drivers
- use caution when approaching intersections
- avoid sudden braking, turning, accelerating and lane changes
- make it a habit to wash your car, including the underside, regularly to remove harsh chemicals and salts which are corrosive
Winter often does provide a beautiful backdrop in which to drive, but it helps if you’re patient, cautious, realistic and prepared. Be sure to read Winter Driving – Parts 1 and 2.
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