A Beginner’s Guide to Winter Driving
Fall is quickly coming to an end in Utah, and winter is just around the corner. Colder temperatures are already settling in, which means snow is on its way. With snow comes icy roads and difficult driving situations. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced driver, it’s always smart to brush up on the basics.
Utah road signs will give you tips for safe driving, but you should know what you’re doing before you leave home. Keep reading to discover our tips for cold and snowy roads.
How to Drive in Cold Conditions
Driving in the cold is less dangerous than driving in the cold and snow. Regardless, here are some things to keep in mind to be prepared:
Prepare for the Worst
Pack your car with jackets, blankets, and other emergency gear. If you have any car problems, you will be glad you have some things to keep warm while you wait for help. Consider stowing a flashlight, windshield scraper, and essential medications in your car, too.
Ease Off the Cruise Control
Using cruise control on slippery surfaces like ice and snow can be dangerous. Try to steer clear of this habit.
Check Your Tires
You’ll want to make sure they are properly inflated and have good tread.
Bring Extra Fuel
Having at least half a tank of extra fuel in your vehicle will prepare you for the worst.
Be Careful When Warming Up Your Car
Do not warm up your vehicle in garages or other enclosed areas – while rare, this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Start your car, exit the garage, and start driving to warm up the vehicle slowly.
Keep an Eye Out for Road Safety Signs
Study up on what each of them means in preparation for dangerous conditions that may arise. Traffic signs and safety regulations are put in place for a reason. As a result, pay close attention to Utah highway signs, especially in the winter.
How to Drive in Snowy Conditions
When there is snow on the ground, all of the above tips still apply. Snow brings another set of elements, however. Consider these pointers:
If you do not absolutely need to drive on the roads, don’t. No matter how skilled you think you are at driving in inclement weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks. The fewer cars on the road, the safer it is for everyone.
Take It Slow
With snow and ice on the roads, you will need to sacrifice your time to drive slower. Driving slowly will increase the traction between your vehicle’s tires and the road. Accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid skids. Remember, it takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so give yourself space to slow down when approaching traffic lights and stop signs.
Mind Your Following Distance
Increase your following distance to five or six seconds. This should account for the time it will take to slow down. If you want to be extra cautious, more distance is even safer and could make all the difference before it’s too late.
Don’t Stop Unless You Have to
It’s easier to get a car moving while rolling than it is from a stop. Try to slow down enough to keep rolling until a stoplight changes.
Be Careful with Hills
If you can avoid hills on your drive around town, do so. If you can’t avoid hills, handle them wisely. If you apply extra gas up the hill as you normally would, you will only spin your wheels. It’s better to increase your speed when approaching the hill to carry your vehicle up it. Avoid stopping on hills at all costs – it can be incredibly difficult to get your car moving from a stop on an incline.
Stay Safe This Winter
Drivers new and old should be careful on the roads this winter. Utah road signs will be in place to help protect you, but when possible, avoid driving and take it slow when you have to.