Temperatures drop in the winter, and you might have to deal with a lot of snow, sleet or ice on the road. Driving in those conditions can be very dangerous, and you want to do everything you can to be as cautious safe as possible. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the road this time of year.
Plan Your Trip
- Get your vehicle serviced ahead of time. Make sure everything is working properly, replace any broken parts, and top off all fluids. Also, make sure your tires are properly inflated, and if they don’t have a lot of tread left, replace them.
- Plan your route ahead of time. Always check the weather and road and traffic conditions, and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies, including a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, warning devices like fares or emergency markers, a flashlight, a cellphone with a charger, food and water, necessary medicine, and an abrasive material like sand or kitty litter. If your vehicle gets stuck in snow, you can sprinkle that material on the ground to help you gain traction.
- If you haven’t already done so, swap out your summer tires for winter tires. As a rule of thumb, you should put winter tires on your vehicle when the temperature drops below 45 degrees.
- Put on snow chains. They attach to your tires and give you maximum traction when you’re driving in snow or sleet or on ice.
- Make sure your gas tank is at least half full. If you get stranded, your engine will be your only source of heat. And, and you might get stuck in an area with very few gas stations.
Winter Driving Tips
- If weather conditions are really bad, only go out if it’s absolutely necessary.
- Let your front and back windshields completely defrost before hitting the road so you have clear visibility.
- Always wear your seatbelt. If you get in an accident, it can save your life.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. If you speed up too quickly or brake too hard, you can lose traction.
- Drive below the speed limit. Then, you’ll have more control over your vehicle and more time to slow down if needed.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Then, you’ll have plenty of room to slow down or stop.
- Don’t use cruise control. If your vehicle hydroplanes or skids, it will speed up and the wheels will rapidly spin because it’s trying to maintain a set speed. You want to be in total control of how fast or slow you’re going.
- Drive with your headlights on no matter what time of day it is. You have less visibility in winter weather conditions, and your headlights will help you see more of the road.
- Don’t drive distracted. Keep your eyes on the road at all times and be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t pass snowplows. The road behind a snowplow is clear, but the road in front of them is usually covered in snow and very slippery. Also, snowplows push all snow, slush, rocks and other debris to the side, and you’ll hit that if you try to pass them.
Find a Winter-Ready Vehicle in Forest Lake, MN
If you want to find a vehicle that can handle harsh winter weather conditions, come visit us here in Forest Lake, MN! You can check out our online inventory or stop by in person to see what vehicles we have in stock. If you come see us in person, our sales team can set you up with a test drive with a few vehicles. Also, many of our new vehicles come with our awesome Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. We’re located near Coon Rapids, Roseville, and White Bear Lake. We hope to see you soon!
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*To qualify for the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty the purchaser must select a qualifying vehicle and finance that vehicle with Forest Lake Chrysler Dodge Jeep & Ram.