Safer Driving in Winter Conditions

Driving your car in the summertime can be a stress-reducer. Beautiful scenery passes by and perhaps a breeze coming in through an open window can make it a pleasure to go places. But when you need to drive somewhere in ice or snow, it can actually increase stress levels as you try to avoid any icy fender-benders or accidents. Try some of the following tips to reduce the risks of winter driving.

Snow Chains

You can get metal snow chains for nearly any make or size of tire. These chains provide extra grip and traction, especially on ice or in deep accumulations where a snow plow has not yet cleared the road. If your vehicle is a front-wheel drive, you must put chains on both front tires. Rear-wheel drive vehicles should have the chains on the back tires, but ideally for both, install on all four tires.

Properly Inflated Tires

Tires that are underinflated have a higher chance of puncture due to craggy ruts of ice or large jagged chunks. They can also reduce roll resistance due to forcing the engine to work harder. Overinflated tires can cause skidding and may rupture due to the icy temperatures and constant dig of the ice. Inflate to your recommended level for greatest safety.

Battery and Fluids

If you live where frigid temperatures are the norm for a good share of the year, be sure to get a battery with adequate cold cranking amps. These batteries provide more starting power and can often get your vehicle going when others may fail. It is also critical to use the proper type and amount of antifreeze. Your engine block depends on this to prevent the water from freezing and bursting the tank.

Staying safe on icy roads can depend on paying attention to your surroundings and to your fellow drivers. It can also mean getting your vehicle in top shape before the cold hits. You will then be better prepared to take on Old Man Winter.