Staying Safe on the Road: Winter Driving Tips
Although most Texans rarely see snow in the winter, drivers can still encounter dangerous situations in the colder months of the year. With rain, winds, and icy conditions being a constant threat, Gullo Ford wants to ensure your safety as you take you vehicle out for both short trips to the grocery store and long road trip across the state.
The worst thing that can happen when driving in the winter is being unprepared. At Gullo Ford, we recommend you always account for the possibility of all types of winter driving situations. Starting with the basics are an easy way to limit the chances of catastrophe when hitting the Texas winter roads.
Regularly check your vehicle’s vitals
Make sure you have the best chances of a smooth driving experience by doing a quick at-home inspection of your vehicle before driving this winter. As the cooler weather can affect air pressure in your tires, it’s always a good idea to check your tire pressure before driving. Take a quick look at the different fluids in your vehicle before driving as well, making sure that everything is in order before hitting the road. Check your headlights and windshield wipers to ensure they are fully operational before driving, increasing your ability to see through things like heavy rain, hail, or snow.
Build an emergency kit
An easy way to gain extra peace of mind on during the winter is to have an emergency kit in your trunk or back seat. Include things like jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, snacks, and water. And in the case that you do hit some snowy conditions or get stuck, it’s always a good idea to bring an abrasive material like sand or cat litter to make it easier to get your vehicle unstuck.
Drive smarter, not harder
There are plenty of things that you can do from the warm comfort of your home before even going out into the cold to increase your winter driving safety. Make sure you know where you’re going before you pull out of your driveway or garage, and plan your best route to get there to avoid hazardous roads or intersections. It can be beneficial to start your vehicle before leaving to let it heat up and allow the windows time to defrost, but never run your vehicle in an enclosed space or unsupervised area where vehicle theft could be a possibility. And for drivers with a family or friend destination in mind, a quick tip is to let them know when you leave with a text or phone call. By letting your friends and family know your estimated arrival time, they can be sure to check on you in the case that you’re running late due to poor driving conditions or that you’ve been stranded due to vehicle issues.
Safety Is always first
Make sure that you adjust your driving habits when facing inclement weather. It’s ok to drive slower when going through heavy rain or snow and increase the distance between yourself and other vehicles in case of a sudden stop. Slowly accelerate and decelerate when driving to avoid skids and maintain traction, and safely pull over if you don’t feel comfortable driving. And in the worst-case scenario of being stranded during a winter storm, always stay with your vehicle. This makes it easy for help to locate you and it protects you from the environment, whether it be rain, hail, or snow.
Regular vehicle maintenance is an easy way to tell if your vehicle is winter road ready. Contact the team at Gullo Ford today for additional winter driving tips and schedule a vehicle service appointment to ensure that your vehicle can handle the colder weather.