Because driving in winter conditions is fraught with hazards such as icy roads, poor visibility, and the threat of snowstorms, consider the following questions before getting behind the wheel and putting safety at risk.
Is this trip absolutely necessary? If you can wait out a storm or until roads are cleared, don’t take the risk.
Do I need to drive a car to get to my destination? Consider public transportation if it’s available.
Are roads icy? If so, stay put. Black ice is especially slick and dangerous on bridges and overpasses.
Is visibility okay across my entire route? Check local news stations or online forecasts for up-to-the-minute weather information for your final destination and locations along the way.
How can I make the trip safer? Give your itinerary to family and friends. Scrape the entire windshield and windows. Brush snow from the hood, roof, trunk, and headlights. Don’t speed. Don’t travel at night. Use main highways whenever possible.
How can I maintain my vehicle to keep my drive safe? Fill your coolant system with antifreeze. Clean the inside of your windshield to prevent glare. Keep your gas tank at least half full, the extra weight adds traction and ensures you won’t run out of gas. Use snow tires or chains as directed.
Do I have what I need if there’s an emergency? Build an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes a flashlight, batteries, jumper cables, flares, mobile phone charger, blankets, and battery-operated radio – even some food bars. Be sure to stow an ice scraper, brush, and snow shovel in your trunk.
Make safety your top priority.