Top 7 Winter Driving Tips to be Safe on Snow or Ice

Driving in winter begins far before igniting the engine of your car. From the regular commute to a spontaneous road trip, driving in this season necessitates preparations well in advance.

 

  1. Plan an event with the weather in mind

Winter is almost always synonymous with unpredictable weather. It becomes a prerequisite to keep an eye out for the latest weather forecasts and update yourself frequently on the climatic conditions. Weather prediction apps only go so far, so make sure you scan all reliable sources ahead of making your trip.

 

  1. Allocate extra time

During this season, you have to be more punctual than usual to make sure that you have a serviceable car with cleaned windows, mirrors, license plates, and lights. Ensure that the windscreen has been thoroughly demisted. Start by using lukewarm water on the outer surface and rub it off with a proper scraper. Do not pour boiling water on the outer surface of the car, because the abrupt discrepancy in temperature can damage it. De-icers are another viable option, but they have their limits. On the inner surface, obliterate the mist by turning up the heater at a steady pace- starting with cool and escalating to hot. Carry a lock de-icer with you to avoid finding yourself stuck outside your car unexpectedly. Demist the lights well as you will be using them more frequently in the darker conditions of winter and they are vital for your visibility.

 

  1. On the road

Along with other items on the checklist, the functionality of the wipers is crucial to driving in the snow to maximize your range of vision in a compromised environment. Be on the safe side with at least a half-full tank of gas so that you are not caught in the middle of nowhere without any fuel. Make sure to not stop frequently while going up a hill because that will cause a loss in inertia. Finally, follow the cardinal rule of accelerating and de-accelerating at a moderate pace.

 

  1. Slow down for safety

Take into account the roads that are extra slippery because they are susceptible to accidents. Leave greater distance between your car and that of others so that parking does not become an arduous task. While driving, a generalized distance of eight to twelve seconds is deemed appropriate. This range shifts based on the environmental conditions, the slope of the road, and the weight of the vehicle. Here, you will be required to modify your usual stopping distance to adjust to the immediate weather.

 

  1. Think before overtaking

You must think meticulously before passing a vehicle, in particular, if the vehicle is a heavy one. Be cautious to not be too close to trucks and snow-plows because they tend to displace the surrounding snow, resulting in a reduced field of visibility. Be more attentive when approaching a bridge or off-ramps, where the road might be afflicted to a worse degree.

 

  1. Winter gear

Extreme weather conditions entail apposite equipment. It is crucial to not just own this equipment, but also to know how and when to use them. Your tires should be inflated correctly with an adequate tread and should be predisposed to the unfavorable weather. You could carry snow chains as a standby option, but be sure to verify how to use them. For this, you could rely on professional assistance, provided by an enrollment in advanced driving lessons in Malden, so that you can be assured at all times.

 

  1. Be prepared for the worst

A brusque change of plans will happen, and not always in your favor. Equip yourself with essentials like a flashlight, a hi-vis coat, shovels, scrapers, phone chargers, blankets, a warning triangle, screenwash and food and water. Amongst all of these, you must obligatorily keep a working cell phone with you at all times, providing you access to your breakdown provider in case you need help.

 

With these pointers in mind, you can optimize your car with peak operating conditions even in the harshest weather.

Top 6 Considerations and Tips for the First-Time Drivers

Acquiring a driver’s license commonly engenders a mixed feeling of certainty and misgivings. Before taking your place behind the wheel, making sure that you have the corresponding requisite tasks mastered already is the first step towards driving confidently. These tasks include simple jobs such as changing the tires, jump-starting the vehicle or pumping gas, as well as being alert and well-prepared for unpredicted events. These practical tasks are going to be handy during your drive while minimizing your apprehension regarding any emergencies you might face on the road.

 

  1. Practice comfort-reliant safety

Your safety goes hand in hand with your comfort. The best way to assure this is to get acquainted with the car as much as it is possible before the big leap. Your safety is directly dependent on your comfort. Accustom yourself with the switches for the front and rear fog lights, the readings on the instrument binnacle, the mechanisms of the windshield wipers and keep necessities like the paperwork, a first-aid kit, jumper cables and a working flashlight in your possession. Your seatbelt facility will work best only when you are comfortable in your seat. Making sure that the knees are not excessively bent while sitting in the upright position is crucial to ensure that the pedals can be reached at a moment’s notice. On a similar note, the rearview mirror will be put to the best use only when it can be comfortably checked for veering or parked cars. As these guidelines do not adhere to any golden rule, it is entirely up to the driver to get accustomed to these minute, but vital, details.

 

2. Learn the limits

For a first-time driver, it is of paramount importance to not only know what one should be doing but also to recognize what one should not be doing. Abstaining from alcohol is a cardinal rule. So is refraining from taking calls and sending messages when behind the wheel. This is the conclusive guarantee to prevent any distortion of sight and mind. Simultaneously, just as you have to know your limits, you also need to recognize your car’s limits. While driving, know when to speed, and how much to speed. Calibrating your driving according to the traffic, the route and the other passing cars is indispensable. Know your limits before attempting to overcome them. Thanks to professional driving instructors in Malden offering you driving lessons in accordance with your abilities, you can have the best assistance to improve your skills.

 

3. Know the (alternate) routes

Planning ahead for the drive is the infallible ultimate. Being acquainted with not just the vehicle, but also most of the viable routes of an area is decisive in the case of a first-time driver. Familiarizing yourself with the specifics of the course will be a guarantee against unforeseeable circumstances, like sudden rough weather or a temporary roadblock. This is perhaps the easiest technique to avoid parking in tricky spots and not having to deal with unfavorable environments.

 

4. Restricted night-time driving

Driving at night-time undeniably amplifies the associated risks, more so for first-time drivers. Abiding by a selected curfew time will be of infinite help to finish all your tasks on time so that you don’t have to worry about driving while it is dark. However, oftentimes, driving at night is an unavoidable circumstance, especially when one cannot rely on public transport for the commute. To circumvent a feeling of trepidation, it is always helpful to have someone else in the car alongside who can provide counsel if and when needed.

 

5. Take smaller steps forward

It is a given that during driving, sooner or later, one will be faced with unanticipated events. While there is no precaution against such events beforehand, you can always acclimatize yourself by practicing in a challenging, yet controlled environment setting so that when the conditions are truly inclement, you are not stifled with anxiety. This will double as a preparatory class and foster you to revise and modify your driving skills accordingly. Through a professional driving school in Malden, you can have an access to Hazard Perception Training that will give drivers an overview regarding the possible predicaments they might be faced with.

 

6. Once behind the wheel, driving is your only priority

Even the most seemingly insignificant distractions can have catastrophic outcomes while driving. Your unmitigated concentration should be towards focusing on the road ahead. Safety is a two-way process in this context- monitoring other cars on the road is just as important as monitoring yourself. This can only be achieved by minimizing all unnecessary preoccupations. Here, there is no greater precaution than undivided attention.

 

Above all, remember that driving is a skill everyone can master. The key is to train oneself to practice in such a manner that this practice transforms into an instinct. With perception and practice, driving like a professional will become a definitive second nature to you in no time at all.