In order to drive safe on roads this winter, it is likely you will have to change your driving habits. Driving on roads in the winter is different than driving in the summer. If you notice any ice or snow covered roads, make sure to slow down to avoid an accident. If you notice roads in less than ideal conditions, try to leave earlier to allow ample time to reach your destination.
Allow your vehicle to warm up
It is a simple tip that people sometimes ignore, but you should warm up your vehicle before driving when it is cold out. Letting the vehicle warm up is important for its own running efficiency. Driving a cold vehicle and going over bumps can cause damage to it, but if has had the chance to warm up, it can absorb the drive better. A warm vehicle also benefits you, as you will not be shivering while trying to drive. When you start your vehicle, also take the time to clear it off. If there is any snow or frost on the vehicle, make sure to brush it away. By scrapping the windows you can also help provide the best visibility possible when you drive.
Warm up the brakes
If possible, when you get ready to go, use your brakes while giving your vehicle a little gas to warm them up. This can also help scrape off any frost that might be on them. The brake can get as cold as everything else for your vehicle. If the roads are covered, you will want to make sure the brakes are in the best condition possible.
Allow yourself enough room to stop
As you drive in the colder temperatures, make sure to keep enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Normally it is recommended to keep a three second distance, but if the roads have precipitation on them, you should double or triple the distance. This can allow for more time and distance to stop your vehicle safely. It is also recommended to slow down early for any stop signs or intersections you might be approaching. Equally as important is to not slam on the brakes. Instead, gently apply the brakes to help control your vehicle.
Make turns at a slow speed
Give yourself a wide arc when making turns if you are able to. Angling the wheels too sharply may result in your vehicle sliding rather than turning. Also make sure to do this at a slow and cautious speed. Even if you think the roads are perfect, it is always best to go at a slower speed.
Do not panic if the roads are bad
If the roads are less than ideal, do not panic. Always slow down and go a speed that you are comfortable at. This can help calm any nerves, as well as helping to keep your vehicle under control. If the road has some traffic on it, turn on the hazard lights on the vehicle. This will let other drivers know that you are traveling slower and they can adjust their driving accordingly.