Tips for Driving During the Winter

December 29, 2023  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

As the temperatures in the Twin Cities begin to drop and snow begins to blanket the roads, it’s critical that you gear up for winter driving. Navigating through these severe winter conditions requires a different set of skills and precautions than driving in warmer seasons. Continue reading our blog as we explore some essential tips to help ensure your safety and your confidence on the icy Minnesota roads.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is Prepared

Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is winter-ready. This includes checking the battery, brakes, tires, and fluid levels. Consider switching to winter tires for better traction in snow and icy conditions. Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel line freeze and replace worn-out windshield wipers to maintain clear visibility.

Slow Down and Increase Following Distance

One of the most crucial winter driving tips is to reduce your speed. Snow and ice will reduce your traction while driving, making it more challenging to stop quickly. Drive at a speed that allows you to maintain control of your vehicle and increase the following distance between you and the car in front of you. This extra space provides more time to react to sudden stops or slippery conditions.

Know How to Handle Skids

Even taking the best precautions, you may still encounter a skid on icy roads. If your car starts to skid, it is important that you remain calm and avoid slamming on the brakes. Instead, steer in the direction you want to go and gently apply the brakes. If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS), apply firm, continuous pressure on the brake pedal.

Clear Snow and Ice

Before driving, take the time to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle, including windows, lights, and mirrors. This ensures maximum visibility and prevents snow from flying onto other drivers. Don’t forget to clear your roof, as accumulated snow can slide onto your windshield while driving, obstructing your view.

Stay Informed About Weather Conditions

Check the weather forecast before heading out and stay updated during your journey, especially on longer trips. If severe weather is predicted, consider delaying your trip or finding an alternative route. Being aware of changing conditions allows you to make informed decisions and plan your travels more safely.

Pack an Emergency Kit

In case of unexpected challenges, equip your vehicle with an emergency kit. Include items such as a flashlight, blankets, a first aid kit, non-perishable snacks, and a basic toolkit. Additionally, carry items like a shovel, ice scraper, and sand or kitty litter for added traction if your vehicle gets stuck.

Contact Barna, Guzy & Steffen

Winter driving demands a lot of awareness and attention. By following these tips, you can help yourself safely navigate through snow and ice. Prioritize safety and enjoy the winter wonderland from the comfort and security of your well-prepared vehicle.

If you or a loved one has experienced a car accident due to hazardous winter conditions, the trusted attorneys at Barna, Guzy & Steffen are here to help. No matter the cause of the accident, we can help you prove your case, allowing you to return to your regular daily activities. Contact us today.