Damage, Ice Dams and Delays: Wintertime Survival Tips for Busy People on the Go
Whether it’s the weekend or weekday, you have things to do and places to go. You have control over where to go and when, but you can’t control road conditions. In the winter, people on the go have to hit the brake on hasty decision making. Winter survival requires greater care and diligence when it comes to driving on the road.
Stay tuned to weather reports and plan ahead. Don’t listen in to get information on the conditions on the way to work alone; you need to be concerned about what the roads will be like on the way home too. Keeping informed allows you to make the safest decisions which may entail asking your boss if you can leave work early or if you can do your work from home.
Inspections and Checkups
It requires payment and perhaps more money than you were planning on investing in your car but you need to ensure it is in optimal working condition before the winter season. Have your car ‘winterized’ at local garages and ensure your inspections are updated. Moreover, joining a club, such as AAA, ensures that you have a plan in place in case you breakdown, need assistance, or require a tow.
Gas and Necessities
Always keep your gas tank filled at least halfway and store all winter necessities, such as an extra pair of gloves, hat, shovel, blanket, ice scraper and other useful tools, in your car. Rather than react in times of need, be proactive so you have a plan set in place for any scenario. For example, buy seat covers from Shear Comfort Ltd. so you can throw them in the dryer if they should get wet.
Driving on clear roads in the summer allows for different driving habits as compared to snowy or icy roads. The latter conditions warrant greater diligence. For example, accelerate and decelerate the car at a slower pace when driving in the snow or on icy roads. Moreover, turn at a slower speed during colder seasons; remember that ‘black ice’ is not very visible yet can cause your tires to lose traction quickly.
Driving experts suggest leaving a three to four second cushion between you and the car in front of you in clear conditions. This time should be increased to ten seconds when conditions are snowy or icy. Not only should you drive slower but you need to increase distance between other cars; even if you hit the brakes in time, depending on road conditions, your tires may not hug the road enough to come to a complete stop.
Aside from increasing your distance, do your best to keep from stopping. In bad conditions, you’ll need the built-up inertia to tackle hills and get through patches of snow. However, when you’re on a decline, begin decreasing your speed well before you need to come to a stop at a sign or crossing. Slow down when approaching a downward slope but don’t power up hills; it may cause your wheels to spin.
As stated, ask your boss if you can leave work early or stay at home to do work if the weather is severe. Likewise, do your best to stay off the roads during storms. Plan ahead, getting groceries, kids from school, etc. Likewise, ensure you have entertainment at home so you’re not tempted to visit friends and family. Your best method of defense is limiting the time you’re on poor roads.
Get in the habit of carpooling and riding with others in bad weather. Two heads are better than one, and in the event of an accident or breakdown, you’ll have help and company. Be sure both of you have your smart phones with you before leaving in case you need to call the police or roadside assistance. Choose to ride in a car that handles better in inclement weather such as a model with ABS brakes or four-wheel drive.
Guest Post by: Bethany Marsden has to travel a lot for her job, mostly she’s behind the wheel but she also has to fly internationally on occasion. She has started to share her tips and tricks for those on the go by writing articles in her spare time.