Tips for Winter Weather Driving
Posted on January 21, 2015

Now that we’ve had our first few minor winter storms, it’s time to prepare for the major ones to come!

Everyone should be cautious about traveling in extreme winter weather, so follow these tips to stay safe as you drive this winter:

Prepare Your Vehicle

wintertireBe sure your vehicle is in good winter driving condition. Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers—get a vehicle maintenance checkup before the harsh weather rolls in.

  • Check your tires by making sure your chains fit at the beginning of the season and checking tire pressure daily.
  • Keep your fuel tank full— don’t let it fall below half a tank on winter trips. This helps to ensure you won’t run out and the weight improves traction in snow and ice.
  • Program your radio for traffic reports and emergency messages.

Be Aware of the Weather

Listen to forecasts, road reports and storm warnings. Dress appropriately and be sure to pack extra scarves and mittens. Allow extra time for trips in severe weather.

It doesn’t have to be snowing, sleeting, hailing, etc. for the weather to affect your car. The extreme cold affects metal, rubber and other materials in your car. It can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s battery, freeze tires and keep them flat on the bottom for at least the first half-mile of travel, and it can thicken your car’s lubricants (making the engine work harder).

Make Yourself Easy to Find

Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take and check in once you arrive. If you stall or get stuck, tie a colored bandanna to your antenna or hang it out a window.


At night, remove the cover from your dome light and turn the light on. Road crews or rescue units can see a small glow at a considerable distance. Use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles.

Create a Survival Kit

Make your own survival kit and store items in the passenger compartment or back seat. Don’t store your survival kit in the trunk just in case it is jammed or frozen shut.


In the case of an emergency, these items will come in handy:

  • Small candles and matches
  • Small, sharp knife and plastic utensils
  • Sand, cat litter or other grit for traction
  • Red bandanna or cloth
  • Pencil and paper
  • Large plastic garbage bag
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone charger to plug into lighter
  • Medications and First Aid Kit
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Snacks and water **choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries **reverse batteries for storage, to avoid accidental switching and burnout

If you have room, these are a few other items to aid you:

  • Booster cables
  • Basic tools
  • Shovel
  • Tow cables or chain
  • Road flares and reflectors
  • Snow suit and heavy boots

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If you prepare and follow these great tips; there is no type winter weather you won’t be ready for!

What other items would you include in your survival kit?

Post by: Ashley M.