Tips for driving safely during winter weather

  • Make sure your automobile insurance is up to date: It’s recommended that you have collision coverage, which protects you if you have an accident, and comprehensive, an optional coverage that covers damage to your car from such dangers as falling ice or tree branches.
  • Drive slowly. Accelerating, stopping and turning all take longer on snow-covered roads.
  • Leave more distance than usual between you and the car ahead of you, giving yourself at least 10 seconds to come to a complete stop.
  • Watch out when driving over bridges, overpasses or roads rarely exposed to sunlight, as they may be icy when other roads are not.
  • Keep the windshield and windows clear. Clean off your headlights and tail lights also.
  • Do not activate cruise control or overdrive when driving on a slippery surface.
  • When approaching a hill in icy conditions, do not apply extra gas or stop the car. Accelerating will make tires spin, and once stopped, a car has difficulty regaining momentum.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and remember that good tread is essential to safe winter driving.
  • Check your exhaust pipe to make sure it is clear. A pipe blocked by ice or snow can cause a leakage of carbon monoxide into your car.
  • Be sure to keep your gas tank full so that you don’t run out in heavy traffic or on detours. A fuller gas tank also prevents gas-line freeze-up.
  • Keep basic supplies in your car in case you get stuck. Buy a substantial ice scraper and snow brush. Pack a blanket, an old pair of boots and an extra sweater or coat. A shovel and a bag of sand or cat litter might also come in handy to help with traction.