Winter is Coming
Tips to stay safe on the roads this winter
Andrea Roberts, Staff Writer
Winter has arrived and with it comes snow and ice, which happens to make driving a lot more dangerous. Before you head out, make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for the cold. Before you hit the road you need to make sure your car is ready togo:
-The cold can do some nasty things to mechanics so make sure things like your window-wipers, brakes, heaters and engine are all in working order.
-It’s important to change your tires! While all-weather tires can take the freeze, summer tires cannot. Winter tires are created for better traction in the snow and ice. If you don’t want to spend money having someone else change the tires for you then you can learn to do it yourself!It’s not too hard to learn and a very useful skill to have in your toolbox.
-Have a survival kit in your car. You can buy them from most major retailers and they include almost everything you will need if you break down on a harsh winter night.
-If you park your car outside make sure all the snow is cleared off the windows, mirrors and lights. Then start that baby up and allow itto run for a bit to warm up your engine. (Be careful about leaving it unattended though! Police are not as sympathetic when your car is stolen with the keys in the ignition.)
Out and about:
-In the winter, braking times take longer, in fact it can take 10 times the distance to stop,so leave a hefty distance between you and the car in front of you. If the road conditions are especially bad slow down and give yourself more time to travel. This may seem a little obvious but if you’re in a hurry it’s easy to forget the risk.
-Skids happen- every vehicle reacts differently so read upon what type of drive you have and learn how to recover from hitting a patch of ice.
-Be attentive and remember to drive defensively! Every year we joke about people forgetting how to drive in the snow, but it really does require a whole new set of driving skills. You must adjust your speed and distance to match the weather.
-Be patient as everyone will be moving slower. This one is especially true for large vehicle drivers. You might feel safe in your big Dodge Ram, but smaller vehicles won’t have the same weight or traction. Everyone wants to get through the winter alive.
So fellow drivers, good luck out there and drive safe! Heres to hoping it’s a mild one.