As the weather gets colder, we all anticipate driving conditions becoming worse and worse. Just as the first few flakes of a snowstorm start to build up, so does traffic. Follow these 10 driving tips to stay safe while you’re driving in the snow and ice this winter season.
- Winterize your car.
The first and most important step to staying safe on winter roads is to make sure your car is up-to-date on fluids, brakes, and fuel. It’s best to keep your fuel tank at least half full during the winter – especially before a long trip on the road. Be sure that you’ve recently had your oil changed and that all the other fluids in your car have been topped off.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
No one wants to get stranded with a flat tire – especially while you’re out driving in snow. Be sure that your tires are properly inflated, as tire pressure can fluctuate quite a bit with winter temperature changes. Proper tire pressure helps to make your tires last longer, and makes it less likely that you’ll end up with a flat.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
While wearing a seatbelt is the law in nearly every state in the country, sometimes people just forget to put it on. But if you have an accident, wearing your seatbelt can save your life. Make sure to fasten your belt before you put the vehicle in gear.
- Slow down.
When snow really starts to pile up, it’s in everyone’s best interest to slow down. You never know if a patch of black ice could be up ahead, or if you’ll run into debris on the road or a disabled vehicle. Taking it slow gives you more time to react to these things.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
Stomping your foot down on the gas or the brake while driving in snow can cause your car to lose traction, and you to lose control. Keep calm and carefully accelerate, or brake slowly to help prevent accidents while on the road.
- Maintain a safe following distance.
Stay at least 3-4 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. When driving in snow or on ice, this should be increased to 6-8 car lengths. Again, slowing down can help keep you and your car safe while driving on ice or in snow.
- Stay alert.
An estimated 10 percent of accidents occur because a driver was distracted – don’t be one of them. Safe driving in snow means paying attention to your surroundings, not to your phone or radio.
- Check the weather, and plan your route ahead of time.
While it’s a good idea to map out your route before you leave the house any time of the year, it’s even more important during the colder months. Checking the weather ahead of your trip could save you a lot of trouble while you’re out on the road in the winter, as it will alert you to any bad conditions or road closures.
- Make sure you’re prepared.
Having a winter emergency kit in your car will help you be prepared while travelling. If you need tips on what to put in your emergency kit, read our blog from earlier this year!
If you’re prepared, driving in the snow doesn’t have to be as dangerous as it seems. Making sure that you and your car are ready for the road ahead of time will keep both of you safe during tricky winter driving conditions. Remember that your neighborhood Chicagoland Jiffy Lube® is here to help you ensure your vehicle is safe when on the road during inclement weather! From oil changes and fluid checks to tire services at participating locations, you can count on us to keep your vehicle running smoothly all winter long.
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.