Fortunately we don’t have to deal with driving in ice and snow on Hilton Head Island, but holiday travel often takes us to parts of the country that does present icy conditions this time of year. Winter driving gives a number of challenges to both you and your vehicle. Your vehicle’s mechanical abilities are tested by the cold weather, and dangerous winter driving conditions test your abilities as a driver.Here are a few reminders from H&H Auto for those of us who live in the South and may have forgotten how dangerous it can be to drive in sleet, ice, and snowy conditions.
Safe Winter Driving Tips
- Stay up to date on winter weather reports prior to driving to anticipate the weather conditions expected. Traffic reports also help you prepare for your trip by notifying you of hazards, delays, and travel times.
- Make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having H&H Auto check your tire pressure, wiper blades, windshield wiper fluid, batter and charging system, and cooling system. Also be sure to keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
- Always make sure you have a cell phone, blankets, gloves, hats, food, water, and any medication you may need in your vehicle in case you get stranded. Don’t try to journey out on foot in a severe storm. It’s easy to walk away, lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow, and become lost. Stay with your vehicle until help arrives, because it provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
- When driving in icy conditions, accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best way for regaining traction and avoiding skids. It takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so take time to brake sooner and slowly before coming to a stop light.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have anti-lock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.