2019 Guide to Driving in Winter Weather Pro tips for safe driving in cold weather conditions from Jack Williams Tire
Taking care of your vehicle and planning ahead for safe travel are important year-round, but especially when it comes to winter driving. There is no denying: we’re in the midst of the typical blustery winter here in the northeast. If you have lived in this neck of the woods for very long, you are no stranger to the cold, icy, and blustery weather conditions that circulate this time of year. In addition to making sure your vehicle is properly prepared to handle the elements, it’s just as important to implement safe driving practices when actually hitting the road in inclement weather. Proper preparation for your vehicle before taking to the road during a winter storm includes:
- Winter driving survival kit. Make sure your vehicle is stocked with the essentials, like a snow shovel, ice scraper, and sand or salt.
- Check your tire tread. The easiest way is the penny test. Insert a penny into the tread groove (Lincoln's head upside down and facing you). If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inches. It's time to replace.
- Check fuel level. We recommend always keeping your gas tank at least half full. This is so that if you get stuck or stranded in the cold, you will be able to run your vehicle to stay warm.
- Clear snow and ice. Before you head out the driveway, take enough time to fully brush off any snow and scrape off any ice that may have accumulated on your vehicle (including all windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk).
When it comes to safe driving, there is more to think about than just All-Season Vs. Winter Snow Tires. The industry experts at Jack Williams Tire compiled these five tips to help you make it through the storm:
- Allow extra travel time. During icy weather or blizzard-like conditions, you will likely have to drive slower than normal. You are also more likely to be delayed by accidents when driving fast in winter weather conditions. Which brings us to our next tip:
- Slow down. We don’t ever recommend speeding, but speeding during winter weather conditions can be especially dangerous to you, passengers, and other drivers. Give yourself more time to be able to react quickly when it counts.
- Keep distance and turn headlights on. Stay at least three vehicle lengths behind the vehicle in front of you, and leave your headlights on. Even if it’s not snowing or raining at the time, this just serves as an extra safety measure.
- Avoid passing plows. Stay at least five car lengths behind the plow, and stay alert for frequent stops or turns. If you must pass, be sure your headlights are on, do not use cruise control, know where the plow is on the road (if on a multilane road) and never drive through “white-outs” or “snow fog” near the plow.
- Don’t overestimate your vehicle. If you’re skeptical, it’s probably better to find other means of transportation or wait until the inclement weather moves on. Keep in mind that if you do happen to lose control of your vehicle on an icy road, it is important to not make sudden maneuvers. Allow your vehicle to slow down substantially before trying to regain control.
No driver wants their vehicle to break down, but especially not during the cold months of winter. Start the new year off right by making sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition and prepared to take on whatever weather winter 2019 has in store. Stop by your nearest Jack Williams Tire to have your vehicle checked for winter safety and to talk with our winter weather driving experts. With over 36 locations throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania to serve you, we believe in doing things The Right Way. That means giving you the right tires at the right price, and the right tips for safe winter driving!