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How to Prepare for Winter Driving

How to Prepare for Winter Driving
Winter weather may just be a few days or weeks away, or has already come for some. With winter weather comes winter driving and those inexperienced driving in the severe weather may have a tough time navigating the roads unless they adequately prepare. If this is you, whether you are a young driver who just got your license, or you just moved to cold state from a warm one, then here's how you need to prepare for the winter driving coming up:

Get the Right GearSafe winter driving requires additional tools, in case something happens while driving, or if the weather worsens throughout the day. It's best to get these tools before the first snow falls. The tools you need to get are an ice scraper, a first aid kit, winter tires/tire chains, a shovel, booster cables, several blankets, and sand for traction. Because the roads are much more dangerous in winter, you want to be ready for an emergency and you want to be able to last a while if you can't move your car or you can't keep the heat on.

Make Switches with Your Vehicle Just like switching out the tires for something with more tread, there are other parts of your car that you can switch to make it better suited for winter driving. For example, you can change your wiper blades for ones that can cut through snow and ice. You can also change your wiper fluid to one that will still work when it's below freezing. Also, do a maintenance checkup before winter arrives to make sure your lights, battery, thermostat, heater, brakes, and defroster are all working. You also want to make sure that your tire pressure and your antifreeze levels are where they need to be.

Consider Weather and Routes before Getting on the Road Conditions can change quickly, so before starting your trip, check routes for accidents, road advisories, and road closures. You might also want to check the weather to see if severe weather is expected to hit while you are driving or out. Another safety measure to take is to let someone know what route you are taking. If something happens and you don't arrive, you want to give friends and family an idea of where to look for you.

Be Extra Cautious When driving, be a bit more vigilant than normal because of road conditions and because of your inexperience with winter driving. This means driving more slowly, giving yourself and other drivers more room, giving yourself more time to break, avoiding sudden changes in speed and direction, and watching your surroundings for hazards. Before pulling out of your driveway or out into the street, wait for your windows to defrost and for your vision to clear, even if you are driving a short distance.

With winter driving, you can never be too careful. Don't wait for the snow or for the worst of winter to hit before preparing yourself or your vehicle for winter driving. Before getting out into that severe weather for the first time, take our winter driving safety quiz! There's no better way to ensure that you know how to drive safely in the winter!