Midwestern drivers understand the additional risks that come with driving during the winter. It’s important that drivers take steps to mitigate these risks to help them arrive safely at their destination. Our Route Service Representatives are on the roads every day and understand this well. Route Supervisor and Safety Committee Chair Josh Zeug gives his top 10 safe winter driving tips for drivers to remember.
Top 10 Safe Winter Driving Tips
- Check the weather before you leave so you are prepared for any snowfall or icy conditions. This is important for both long excursions and quick stops.
- If possible, avoid backroads and instead take the main roads to your destination, as they will be better maintained after a storm.
- Stay hydrated, as even in winter you can become dehydrated, especially during physical excursion.
- Increase your following distance behind the car in front of you. Accelerate and decelerate slowly and carefully.
- Leave earlier for your destination and give yourself extra time in case road conditions deteriorate during the drive.
- Always let friends, family, coworkers, or classmates know where you are headed before you leave.
- Bring a shovel and/or tire chains in case you get stuck.
- Check tire treads and tire pressure utilizing a coin and pressure gauge.
- Don’t be overconfident using four-wheel or all-wheel drive and be extra cautious going over bridges and overpasses as they can be especially slippery.
- Utilize the Minnesota and Wisconsin 511 Travel Conditions resource to check road conditions before you leave: https://tr.511mn.org/ and https://www.511wi.gov/.
Always remember that you as the driver are your car’s best safety feature! The smartest thing to do if you are ever unsure about road conditions is stay put and not venture out. If you do have to drive and end up stalled, in a ditch, or worse yet in an accident, having a winter car kit can greatly improve your situation. Stay tuned next week for our ideal winter car kit setup.