As Floridians, the worst winter weather many of us have experienced if probably heavy cold rain and 40-degree temperatures; nothing too menacing. With the holidays approaching and many heading North for that “winter wonderland,” it’s important to be prepared for very different driving conditions than what we are normally used to. Here are some basic tips for driving in winter weather:
- As before any road trip, have your car thoroughly checked out to make sure it is in great condition. Check all fluid levels, brakes, battery, and of course oil.
- When refilling your windshield washer fluid make sure to use an anti-frost formula to help keep the fluid and your windshield from freezing. Double check your wipers and make sure they are working properly.
- Test your car’s defroster and heater to make sure they working properly or have them serviced if needed.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid the gas line from freezing.
- Invest in a good snowbrush and remove snow or ice from your windows and headlights any time you stop.
- Cold weather means your battery will be working overtime. Test your battery before your trip and make sure you have jumper cables in good working condition. You may want to invest in a portable battery charger just in case.
- Always follow the speed limit and allow for ample space in between yourself and the car in front of you. Remember snow is very slippery!
- Snowstorms can often diminish visibility greatly. Always drive with caution and look out for pedestrians and slow-moving vehicles.
- Even if there is no snow, be very careful of what is known as “black ice,” which is when there is a very thin layer of ice on roads. Because it is transparent it tends to look like a normal paved road but it’s very dangerous and can lead to skidding and loss of traction.
- If you end up skidding or losing traction either due to rain, snow, or black ice, remain calm. Hitting the break or turning suddenly can make things worse. Instead, try to keep the wheel steady and slowly take your foot off the gas pedal. Once the car has regained traction you start accelerating again slowly.
Accidents are many times unavoidable no matter what we do. To make sure you are protected in the event of an accident, contact Preferred Link agent today regarding your auto insurance policy.