Winter Driving Safety Tips To Be Aware Of

winter-driving-hazardsThese Winter Driving Tips Can Help to Make Each Trip That You Take As Safe As Possible!

Many of winter’s adverse conditions increase the risk of injury to a driver or damage to a vehicle.

In order to deal with winter conditions, it is a good idea to take additional precautions. Here are a few suggestions that will increase your overall safety this winter.

Make sure that your car has a full reservoir of winter windshield washer fluid. If you run out of windshield washer fluid (carry a spare gallon in the trunk) or if the washer fluid reservoir freezes, your vision through the windshield could be significantly impaired.

Change your vehicle’s windshield wiper blades. In cold weather, wiper blades need to deal with the additional weight and resistance of ice and snow on the windshield.

Make sure that all of your car maintenance is up to date. Along with the wiper fluid, make sure that the oil, brake, and coolant maintenance is current.

safe-driving-in-winterWhen planning for a trip, plan your route. Let someone know when you plan to leave and arrive so that if you have trouble and don’t reach your destination on time, your route can be checked.

Check the weather forecast and plan for all possible weather conditions.

Avoid driving in bad weather when it is possible.

Make sure you have a good ice scraper in the vehicle and maybe another one in the trunk. Scraping ice from a windshield with a credit card is not fun and usually not effective.

Repair windshield chips or cracks as soon as they are noticed. In cold weather, a windshield chip or crack can spread and weaken the windshield or impair your ability to see the road.

winter-driving-safety-tipsMake sure to have a plan if something unexpected happens. If you slip into a ditch, have the number of a towing service at hand.

This may be an idea you haven’t considered. If you are a new driver or are apprehensive about driving on ice, get some practice! Find an icy (but empty) parking lot and learn how it feels when your car is about to slip. And if you car does begin to skid, learn how to recover from the skid as soon as possible.

Know the type of roads that are on your route. Although major highways often have better maintenance, if traffic is really slowing down and conditions are bad, consider getting off of the road and into a rest stop.

Carry an emergency survival kit in the car. When it’s cold, have enough clothing to protect yourself in the event you are stranded for several hours. Frostbite is avoidable. In addition to extra clothing, consider carrying boots, chains, a shovel, flares, emergency lighting, and blankets. A few candy bars and extra bottles of water might also be a good idea.

Finally, if you have a mobile phone, make sure that the battery is charged. Carrying an extra mobile phone battery is also a good idea

Finally, when driving conditions are bad, SLOW DOWN!

Remember, winter driving conditions can be severe. But with proper planning and maintenance, each of us can help to make each every trip as safe as possible.




Paul Dormody is Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and owns Minnesota Insurance Service Agency (MISA) in Woodbury, MN. Paul’s blog, the MISA IPro blog, can be found at

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