Winter Driving Tips for Parents
It is winter, I think we can all be in agreement on that. I can look out my window right now and see the blustery scene outdoors. Unfortunately, our duties as parents don’t end, we still need to go to work, take the kids to their after-school activities, grocery shop and much, much more. When we sit down behind the wheel to drive in this slick winter weather, we need to be completely present and aware at all times. Here are some winter driving tips, to help keep you and your loved ones safe:
The Pre-Check (before you pull away from the curb):
- Keep your gas tank above half full, at all times. Allowing your gas to go below half full in freezing temperatures, can lead to condensation in the fuel tank, which can cause fuel line freeze up and no-start conditions, explains Vehicle Test in MA.
- Go out and start your car early, or install a remote car starter so that you can start your car from the comfort of your living room. Having your car warmed up, will ensure that your engine will run properly once you hit the road.
- Clean off your car. Take the time to brush off all snow from windows, headlights, taillights and the squirters on the hood of your car. Failing to clean off a taillight (for example) can lead the driver behind you to miss your break lights turning on, creating a potential hazardous situation. If you’re worried about being cold, invest in a nice warm coat, and heavy insulated gloves.
- Make sure that your wipers are in good condition. You do not want to have to deal with poor visibility in a winter storm, or with any sort of precipitation.
- Check your tire’s tread regularly. The tread of your tires is the only thing that is making contact with the ground when you are driving, and ultimately the more tread your tire has, the better. A good way to test whether you have a safe amount is by sticking a US penny in with Lincoln’s head down, if the top of his head is covered, you’re safe!
- Buckle up! Never underestimate the power of a properly secured seatbelt. If you have small children in the car, ensure that they are belted in nice and tight and their coat isn’t pushing the belt out, leaving it too loose around the shoulders and chest.
- Turn your headlights on. Some cars have day running lamps that are on any time the car is in gear, but I’m going to suggest that you go even further and turn on your full headlights. You want to be seen both in the front and in the back, and your turning your lights on will do that.
- Put the phone away. You shouldn’t be driving and texting anyway (it’s against the law, here in NYS), but when the roads are slick and slipper, you NEVER want to find yourself not paying attention. That’s when accidents occur; keep those eyes on the road!
- Slow it down! When there is snow, slush and ice on the roads, you can’t be traveling at the posted speed limit. Reducing your speed, and keeping a nice safe space between you and the car in front of you (Cooper Tire Safe Driving Tips) will lead to many safe trips on snowy roads.
- Above all else, If you start to skid, DO NOT panic! Easier said than done, I know, but you want to keep a clear head if you start to slide one way or another. If you do start to slip, be sure to turn you steering wheel the opposite direction that you are sliding, hopefully this will help correct the scary situation.
Alrighty, those are my winter weather tips. I’ll be putting them all into practice a little later today when I take Emmett out shopping.