With the current winter weather here in the US, (that’s dumped FEET of snow in my direction); I’ve come to a realization.. A lot of people CANNOT drive in wintery weather, lol. No bueno. Did you know that driving in NEAR zero temps is more dangerous than driving in sub-zero temps? I didn’t know that either until a few years ago when we moved to Kansas and I had to hit the WWW to ensure I would be better prepared for winter driving – especially with the munchkins in tow! So to help all of the other mommas out there having to drive in freezing temps this winter, here are 10 hot driving tips for driving in a winter freeze that I’ve gathered throughout my time in the sunflower state, and now the potato state!
If your car does not already have this, make a quick trip to the auto parts store (or pick one up by clicking the banner here), and pick one up (note – they are super cheap and can save you a ton of headaches). Obviously knowing the outside temp will let you know if you need to look out for ice – and worse – BLACK ice. That sneaky, hard to see – danger – that many of us have dealt with from time to time.
If you’re not familiar with wintery weather – this book is a complete lifesaver. A few super important things to understand and remember are that bridges and overpasses are going to freeze first because they freeze from both the top and from the bottom. Also, that areas of the road that don’t get much sun (think being shadowed by a mountain) are going to freeze first and stay frozen longer. Finally, the other place that sneaks up on people are roadways that run near bodies of water. Those droplets of water are going to end up on the road and turn to ice.
Before you get INTO your car – make sure you can see OUT of your car. Take a brush tool, a broom, or whatever is handy and clear all of the snow/sludge from your windows and CLEAR ALL OF YOUR LIGHTS! In winter weather when stopping and turning may happen at a slower pace – be sure that people can see you and know if you are slowing, stopping, or turning.
There is one thing that never fails to happen; in fact, you can almost guarantee will happen when the roads are wet, snowy, and soggy – you are going to get behind a car or truck that throws dirt all over your windshield. With just a little preparation, you can be ready for whatever is thrown in your direction (pun intended)! So keep that windshield washer fluid topped off Bonus tip – keep your windshield wiper blades in good shape BEFORE you need them.
I know, I know. We all strive for this NO MATTER the season – but running late and speeding along is much more dangerous in the colder winter months, especially in freezing temps or when there is snow/ice on the ground. You’re likely going to have to scrape your windshield, get the snow off your car, etc. So maybe only press the snooze button ONE time & give yourself that extra few minutes to ensure you arrive alive.
At the absolute minimum, you should always have a blanket, lighter, a candle, non-perishable food items (ex. granola bars, protein bars), and a flashlight. Also, if or a family member takes medication – especially if it’s something that is relied on daily, keep a few doses to last a day or two in your car at all times. Additionally, you can take your preparation to the next level with a set of jumper cables and a small safety tool kit with you (and be sure you learn how to use both!).
This one is one of those items that you should ALWAYS have in your car! You NEVER know when trouble will strike while you’re on the go, and a first aid kit is a necessity! If you don’t have one, go on Amazon or a store near you and buy one right now..
This is a rule of my own that I live by year-round, but it especially should be followed in the winter months. If you happen to get stuck – you really do NOT want to be on “E”. Talk about a major bummer on top of a major bummer, and also potentially very dangerous.
Aside from the obvious reasoning of being able to call for help, having your phone on can assist in geo-location should it be necessary. There is nothing scarier than being on a road trip or even just a back road and having an emergency (or your car not start/battery die) and your phone is deader than a doornail with no way to charge it. This battery backup source is super efficient, super cheap – and can be at your door in 2 days.
This tip is last – but surely NOT the least when it comes to winter weather. You’ll be SO happy to have a shovel in your car should you ever find yourself stuck and need to dig out. Hypothetically speaking, it is NOT easy to dig yourself out with a coffee cup or any random item you’d normally find in your car. Not that I would ever use a coffee cup (it was a sand bucket that I had to use, and it was NOT a fun time) – so I’m just sayin’, GET A SHOVEL.
There you have it! 10 hot tips for driving in winter weather. Just following these simple tips can help you safely beat the winter blast and that is SNOW-joke! (I know, really bad – but I couldn’t resist….) We’d love to hear about any of your Winter driving and safety tips. Please feel free to post in the comments below!
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