Protect Your Family And Yourself With These Essential Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving

Playing with snow is fun for both children and adults. However, for drivers, it's an unpredictable and unfavorable situation. Adverse weather conditions combined with icy roads are not just frightening but dangerous as well.

Driving through snow is an unsettling experience, that's why to keep the entire family safe, you need to be prepared before hitting the road during this treacherous time.

Vehicle Preparation

You don't want your car to break down during the cold winter season. Get your vehicle ready and ensure that it’s in its best condition even before the season's first storm hit. Here are a winter driving checklist and the things you need for your mechanic to check:

  • The battery strength of your car.
  • Have the emission, fuel, and air filters tested as well as the exhaust system.
  • Consider installing new spark plugs.
  • Check to ensure that all components, fan belts, and hoses are working well.
  • Check the pressure and tread life of your tires. Consider replacing them with winter tires if possible.
  • Inspect the blades of your wiper and make sure they're in great shape and functional.
  • Make sure your ice scraper, jack, and spare tire are ready.

Before Heading Out On The Icy Roads

Clear ice

There will be some challenges ahead of you and your vehicle when winter driving. So to make things a little easier, here are some useful things you can do:

  • Clear ice, frost, and snow from your car's exterior and windows.
  • Prevent any carbon monoxide issues by not warming your car inside a closed garage.
  • You don't want your gas line to freeze-up so make sure your gas tank is half full the least.
  • Check if there are obstructions in the exhaust pipe such as mud or snow.

Things To Remember When Driving Through The Snow

  • Avoid the risk. Only drive in the snow if it's really necessary. Stay home as much as you can even if you're an amazing winter driver.
  • Slowly but surely. Always drive slow and make sure to lower down your speed so that you will be able to estimate the traction when you're driving through ice or snow.
  • Keep your distance. Increase your distance from the driver ahead of you by at least five seconds and slow down when there's a stoplight. Keep in mind that slowing down on slippery icy roads will take longer.
  • Understand your breaks. Whatever type of breaks you have, whether it's anti lock or not, always keep your foot's heel on the floor so that you can apply steady and firm pressure on your break's pedal using the ball of your foot.
  • Avoid powering up in hills. Do not apply extra gas when driving on roads covered with snow to avoid spinning your wheels.
  • Avoid stopping when going uphill. Before taking on that icy hill, try getting a bit more inertia working toward a flat roadway.

AAP Car Seat Winter Safety Tips: Driving With Your Child

Car Seat Winter Safety Tips

We all know that wearing winter coats, snowsuits, and bulky clothing under your child's car seat harness is not advisable. Thus, the winter season is a bit tricky for car safety seats.

Fluffy padding can flatten out instantly in the force of a crash which will leave an extra space underneath the harness. Your baby can slide through it and get thrown from his seat in the event of a collision.

Here's how you can keep your little angel safe, warm, and comfortable in his car seat:

  • Keep the carrier inside your home when not in use to keep it at room temperature. This will lessen the loss of your baby's body heat in the vehicle.
  • It's more recommended to dress your child in thin layers of clothing. Start at the bottom with close-fitting clothes such as bodysuits with long sleeves or leggings. You can then add a sweater and pants, and then a jacket made of thin fleece over his top.
  • Keep your baby warmer with booties or socks, mittens, and hats.
  • Make sure the straps of the harness are tightened properly by doing the pinch test. The car seat harness straps need a bit more tightening if you can pinch them.
  • You may also use a blanket to cover your baby as long as you place it across the straps of the harness.
  • Do not use any accessory that does not come with your child's car seat.