The 1-2-3’s of Safe Winter Driving
For many of us, the winter season is an exciting time filled with joy, love, and way too many repeats of the Christmas classic, ‘All I Want for Christmas is You.’ But while you’re out experiencing the incredible joys of the beloved holiday season, it’s important to be prepared for all of winter’s surprises — especially when you’re out on the road.
Icy roads, reduced vision, and colder temperatures have a huge effect on our everyday driving experience, with over 24-percent of weather-related automotive accidents occurring in snowy or icy weather conditions. To help reduce this number and protect you and your loved ones during this winter season, we wanted to share some tips on how you can improve your safety before, during, and after your drive.
Before You Leave:
1. Pack an Emergency Car Kit
Fill a backpack with extra clothing, a phone charger, a flashlight, water, non-perishable snacks, and a first aid kit. Keep this backpack, along with a set of jumper cables and an ice scraper in the trunk of your vehicle for easy access in the event of an emergency.
2. Winterize Your Vehicle
As the temperatures drop, it’s important to ensure your car is safe for winter driving by visiting your local mechanic for a maintenance checkup. This step is especially important if you notice issues such as reduced power, stalling, or braking problems.
3. Give Yourself a Clear View
Driving with impeded vision can be incredibly dangerous not only for you, but for other drivers out on the road. Before setting out on your winter adventure, make sure to remove all the ice and snow from your windows, mirrors, and lights for the greatest visibility.
During Your Drive:
1. Keep Your Distance
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that in some cases, we should keep our distance. In addition to slowing down earlier to give yourself extra time to stop, we recommend keeping more space between you and other vehicles. Instead of the normal following distance of 3 to 4 seconds, try keeping a minimum of 8 seconds between you and the car in front of you while driving.
2. Put Your Phone Away
This rule applies at all times you’re in control of a moving vehicle, but is especially important during dangerous driving conditions. While it can be tempting to check a text or send an email while on-the-go, your focus should always be on arriving at your destination safe and sound.
3. Wear Your Seatbelt
We get it. You’ve been hearing this warning for the past… however long you’ve had a license. But while this suggestion may seem obvious for some, the fact of the matter is that many motor vehicle fatalities are due to the improper or non-use of seatbelts. To keep this number down, we recommend always wearing a seatbelt during your drive — especially in snowy or icy conditions.
When You Arrive:
1. Check Your Fuel Level
During the winter season, gasoline can make all the difference between warm and frozen if you’re ever stuck on the side of the road. To be safe, we recommend continually checking on the fuel level of your vehicle to ensure your gas tank is at least halfway full at all times.
2. Turn Off Your Lights
We’ve all had the experience of discovering that our vehicle is dead because a forgotten light was left on in the car all night. To avoid getting stuck out in the cold, remember to double-check your car’s headlights and interior lighting to make sure everything is rightfully turned off.
Safety is Always Worth the Effort
Driving in icy conditions can be a scary experience for all drivers — experienced or new. At Larsen’s Auto Repair, we truly care about the safety and wellbeing of our customers, and want to do our best to ensure you make it to your destination safely and without issue. If you feel that your car needs some extra maintenance or repairs to keep you and your family safe while out on the road, please give us a call at +1 (801) 373-0048 to schedule an appointment with our team of experienced mechanics and auto technicians today.
Looking forward to improving your safety,
The Larsen’s Auto Team