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January 06, 2012

10 Simple Recipes for Safe Winter Driving

Winter Woman Car CareMaking sure you and your family are safe on the road this winter is of course a high priority, but who has the time to think about this, let alone do what needs to be done? 

Don’t fret. Taking action doesn’t have to be all that complicated or time-consuming. Do you ever use those so-called “30-Minute Meal” recipes? Here’s the winter driving tips version: 10 simple and easy-to-follow precautions you can take to be better prepared—come snow, rain or shine.

Remember Your Sunglasses

The glare of the sun reflecting off snow or ice can be more blinding.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

Did you know that, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, each 10-degree drop in temperature will cause your tires to lose one pound of pressure? Check yours regularly, especially when arctic blasts arrive. 

Clean All the Snow Off Your Car

That means everywhere—front and rear windows, lights, mirrors and even the roof and hood to prevent snow from blowing into your or other drivers’ field of vision.

Don’t Use Cruise Control on Slippery Surfaces

If your car begins to hydroplane or skid, cruise control will make your wheels spin faster trying to maintain a constant speed. That’s a recipe for losing control of your vehicle.

Make Sure Your New Teen Drivers Practice in a Safe Place

Behind-the-wheel experience is the best way to prepare winter novices for the hazards of ice and snow. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recommends that parents make sure their teen drivers get plenty of practice in a safe environment (such as an empty parking lot) before driving in traffic.

Give Yourself Plenty of Room to Stop

Even just a light covering of snow on the road can greatly reduce your vehicle’s traction. A good rule of thumb is to allow three times more distance when stopping than you would under normal conditions 

If You Get Stranded, Stay in the Car

Walking to look for help in a severe storm is a common and risky mistake because it’s so easy to get lost. Make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked by mud, ice or snow, then stay in the car and let it run for a few minutes every hour for warmth.

Be Patient

Driving in the snow is dangerous, even if you have four-wheel drive and studded tires. Allow yourself lots of time to reach your destination. Start, stop and turn slowly and gradually to prevent skidding.

Don’t Forget Your Cell Phone

Put your insurance company or roadside assistance service numbers on your speed dial. 

If You Feel Unsafe, Pull Over!

Find a safe spot to pull over and wait until the weather passes or calms to the point where you feel comfortable driving again.

Winter driving will never be as easy as pie (which is really only easy if you buy it from a store). But if you keep these tips fresh in your mind and take the right precautions, you’ll be safer and better prepared whenever you’re on the road, no matter what the conditions.

PalatineContent provided by George Palatine, Allstate Auto Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL
Palatine is a recognized expert in social marketing, SEO, online informatics and the power of content to engage, inform and entertain customers and business partners.

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