Strategies for Safeguarding Yourself While Driving in Winter
As winter approaches and we face the reality of scraping icy windshields and preheating cars, it is crucial to remember to unplug the extension cord before backing out of the driveway. Driving in the winter requires a few extra adjustments to ensure you and your vehicle stay safe. Here are five tips for winter-proofing your driving skills:
1. Eliminate All of the Snow and Ice
The mornings can be hectic, and time is usually tight, but taking 90 seconds to clear your car off and scrape the windows is always worth it. Shaking any snow off the hood is a good idea so it doesn’t blow back onto your windshield and block your view. Ensure that your headlights, taillights, and licence plates are visible and that you have completely defrosted the windows before driving away.
2. Set Your Tires for Prosperity
If you can, switch to tires that are specifically designed for winter conditions, such as winter tires or all-season tires. The deeper treads will work to clear away snow from the road’s surface, giving you better traction and improved control of your vehicle. Studded tires are a good choice if it is wet outside and the temperature is near zero. However, they don’t provide as much benefit as winter tires when the temperature is freezing. Make sure to regularly check the pressure of your tires to help prevent a blowout. The owner’s manual or the tire’s sidewall will tell you the ideal pressure for a regular passenger car – typically between 30 and 33 lb/in2. Remember that each 5° C change in temperature can cause a drop of 1 lb/in2 in pressure.
3. Winter Driving = Proceeding with Caution
When driving during the winter months, it is important to take one’s time. The slower pace will help ensure you remain safe on the roads. As an alternative, it can be beneficial to proceed with caution. This will help to minimize the chances of an accident occurring.
If you want to be on time for work, you can’t be stuck pushing your car out of a snowbank or waiting for help after an accident. To stay safe on the roads when the conditions are poor (covered with snow and ice, for example), it’s important to give yourself more time to reach your destination. Start out slowly, checking your brakes and steering to get a feel for the road. Staying in control of your vehicle is essential, even if that means driving slower than the speed limit suggests. Be aware of intersections, look for areas of traction, like sand or clear pavement, and drive carefully when accelerating and decelerating.
4. Essential Items to Check Before Driving:
(The below list is provided by SGI’s Knowledge Base)
- Radiator – Ensure the correct winter coolant is in place and no leaks exist.
- Tires – Confirm that all tires have suitable tread depth.
- Wipers – Ensure the wiper blades are in good shape to wipe off snow and sleet, rather than just move it around.
- Heater and defroster – Guarantee the heater and defroster are functioning properly to keep the windshield clear at all times.
- Lights – Make sure both headlights are working on the upper and lower beams and are adjusted correctly; also that brake, tail, marker, clearance lights and directional signals are functioning correctly and are clean, so they are visible to other drivers.
- Brakes – On slippery roads, it is essential that the brakes are in good condition and balanced for even braking. This is particularly important for trains or doubles operations.
- Muffler and exhaust system – These should be in good working order and securely fitted so carbon monoxide is not entering the vehicle, which can lead to serious illnesses or death for the driver or passengers.
- Battery – Cold temperatures greatly reduce battery power. Make sure yours is in good condition, and, if needed, understand the right way to use a battery booster.
- Fifth-wheel lubrication – For tractor trailer combinations, use a winter grade of lubricant on the fifth-wheel. Some heavy summer grades of lubricant at lower temperatures become too thick and can interfere with steering on icy surfaces.
- Windows and mirrors – Ensure the windows are clean to ensure good visibility. Mirrors should be kept adjusted and clean for good visibility to the rear.
5. Enhance Your Protection With an SGI Insurance Package
Nobody anticipates being in an accident, similar to how no one expects to drive into a snowbank. That’s why they are called accidents and why it is important to consider obtaining a package policy to safeguard your car and finances. Generally, with plate insurance, the collision claim deductible is $700. Nonetheless, for a mere $15/month, you can reduce that deductible to $100 and get additional coverage like extra third-party liability and family security insurance!
HWICLICK allows you to get a tailored SGI package policy anytime you want, day or night, from any device!