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Winter Driving Survival Tips

Updated on February 20, 2015

For some places in the world, winter driving can prove to be quite a challenge due to snow, rain, sleet, and some otherwise unsafe driving conditions. The cold weather does its job in testing an individual's driving ability since these harsh conditions are quite dangerous and cause a lot of traffic accidents. You can't control another person's driving skill and reflexes, but you can try to improve yours in order to make the roads a much safer place. Here are a few tips to make your winter commute as safe as possible to give you a greater peace of mind. You will need to know some basics and have some supplies ready for the winter in order to prevent any unexpected circumstances.

Service your car. Don't wait!

If so, get it done as soon as possible. It's hardly a big deal when your car breaks down at night right in the middle of summer. The wintertime is a different story if you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall and temperatures below that dip to below freezing. If your timing belt looks to be a bit faulty or your spark plug wires are not functioning correctly, it's better to take care of all the necessary maintenance work when the weather is still warm than be stuck stranded in the middle of nowhere with below freezing temperatures.

Get the right car lighting

New cars nowadays have the option of having HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights in a super bright, white light to illuminate the road during night driving to make it safer. Lighting is absolutely crucial in safe driving, so it's important to get the best of the best. HID lights are becoming increasingly popular among car owners and you will start to notice that more and more people on the road have HID headlights because they are a huge step up from your usual incandescent headlights. Check to make sure your HID bulbs are in good working condition and get a replacement if they are not up to par. If your car does not come standard with HID headlights, you can always get aftermarket HID lights or an HID Conversion Kit for a similar effect.

Daytime running lights are important

Another lighting feature that's just as important to have as HID headlights are daytime running lights. Again, many cars today come standard with daytime running lights, but you can do that extra step and get LED daytime running light bulbs or even a direct fit set of LED daytime running lights so it looks like your car rolled out of the factory looking like that. LED daytime running lights are much brighter, giving you a safe drive as well as keep your car looking unique. Nowadays, there are plenty of aftermarket add-ons that can make your daytime running lights looking pretty incredible. You have plenty of options on what kind of LED daytime running light you would like for your vehicle, but you are guaranteed to have a much better look as opposed to standard factory incandescent bulbs.

Stock up on emergency supplies

Maybe you cleared out all of the moon blankets, winter jackets, and emergency supplies when the weather was a lot warmer, but don't procrastinate when it comes to putting the winter necessities back into your vehicle. You never know when you will need that heavy winter coat and it's better to be safe than sorry during the winter. Keep emergency supplies and a first aid kit ready in the trunk in case you ever need it, as well as some tools like a screwdriver or a wrench in case you need to do some tinkering with your vehicle. Get a snowbrush or an ice scraper when you have to remove the excess snow and ice before your morning commute.

Get some snow tires

You need a set of four, brand new snow tires which will make a huge difference. Splurge a little and get some steel rims so you can mount the snow tires to these rims. When you make the change twice a year between snow tires and regular tires, you will be glad that you don't have to get them remounted. They increase your traction and we all know that traction is one of the most important things when you have to not slip and slide on the road.

Drive slow!

Driving in snow or ice is extremely dangerous and very difficult to maintain total control of the vehicle. It's extremely important to drive slow and don't overestimate your abilities. The tires already have a hard time with a snowy road so the last thing you want to do is test your driving abilities in inclement weather. You can even do a bit of practice in an empty parking lot to see if your handling skills are up to par.

Driving during the wintertime can be scary for some, but if you take all of the necessary precautions, you'll be able to maximize safety for everyone out there. Make sure you have all of the lighting equipment, the service checks, and the supplies. You'll realize that it will be spring in no time and you'll be prepping for a summer road trip soon.


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