Did you know that around 70% of accidental deaths that occur during the winter are not from exposure or exhaustion, but automobile accidents? Don’t let a late winter storm catch you unaware. Here are five tips to help drive more safely when conditions are less than ideal:
- Check Your Tires and Your Tire Pressure
Tires with worn treads can’t grip wet and icy roads well, and less traction means a more dangerous drive. The easiest way to check the treads is the penny test: place a penny in a groove in the tire with Lincoln’s head down and facing you. Seeing all of Lincoln’s head means that the tire tread is less than 2/32”, which means it’s time to get a set of new tires.
Tire pressure can also negatively affect a snowy, icy drive. Cold causes the air in your tires to contract. In fact, your tire loses about a pound of pressure for every 10° drop. If you already have underinflated tires, this can mean a significant loss of traction. Underinflation also causes more wear and tear on your tires.
- Carry a Winter Driving Emergency Kit
A winter driving emergency kit can help you when you’re in—or when you need to get out of—a winter driving situation. A winter driving emergency kit should include all of the regulars, such as:
- Jumper cables
Your emergency kit should also include:
- Ice scraper
- Bag of kitty litter
You can even add a small shovel.
- Brush Up on Winter Driving
Brush up on your winter driving skills before the snow and ice hit. It can be difficult to remember the tips you learned in driving school all those years ago, especially when you only have to use them a few times a decade.
Q: A quick review: when braking on ice, what to do in the event of a skid?
A: turn in the direction of the skid!
Q: When going up and down hills, how do you brake correctly?
A: slow, steady pressure (no quick stomps on the brake pedal).
Also be aware that sometimes the most important thing to do is stay home.
- Go Slowly
No matter what type of car you own, wet, snowy and icy roads affect everyone. Don’t believe that just because you have an SUV or a particular model of car, the rules of safe winter driving don’t apply.
Speed affects your car’s traction, and without traction, you can find yourself slipping and sliding all over the road.
- Ready Your Car
One of the most important things you can do for safe winter driving is to make sure your car is ready for winter driving. In addition to your tires, make sure you get your battery, wiper fluid, wiper blades and other essential car functions checked out by the trusted professionals at Quanz. These systems keep your car running well, even in the worst conditions. Don’t be left out in the cold when our New Mexico winter throws its last punch at you. The professionals at Quanz Auto Body can help ensure your car is ready for any driving conditions winter throws your way.