Winters can bring harsh and ever-changing weather conditions. Driving hazards such as limited visibility, black ice, avalanche-prone areas and snow removal equipment are just some that may be encountered on winter roads. Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to avoid snowy and icy areas and steep hills. Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates. Make sure you turn on headlights to see and be seen, and that you turn off cruise control. Try to avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually. When driving in the winter, one of the best things you can do is to reduce the speed you are driving. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions. Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles. Keep additional distance from other vehicles. Typically this should be three seconds or three car lengths. When the weather or road conditions are less than ideal, this should be increased. Also be aware of the potential of black ice. As the temperatures warm up, or the sun melts some of the snow, it can then refreeze into the form of black ice. This is dangerous because you typically do not know it is there, until you are driving over it. Also remember to keep your fuel tank at least half full. This helps to ensure you have enough fuel to reach your destination. It is also recommended in order to prevent the fuel lines from freezing up. If you are in an accident or stranded, you will want as much fuel as possible so you can keep running your vehicle to stay warm.
When driving in the winter, it is important to start your vehicle before you drive so you allow it the chance to warm up. As the temperatures freeze, it can lead to the possibility of issues with your vehicle. Freezing fuel lines can be a big problem if you fuel tank is low. This will also cause your vehicle to have a difficult start in the morning. During the winter months it is best to keep the tank at least half full. This can reduce the chance of condensation accumulating and freezing in tank and fuel lines. When you start the vehicle before driving, you can warm up the engine, as well as the interior of the vehicle. Also remember to be careful when driving. As roads become covered in snow, ice, or frost, more time and distance is needed in order to stop safely. Make sure to drive cautiously and pay attention to the road conditions. Driving slower can also help make the roads safer for you, as well as those around you traveling. Drive at a speed that you are comfortable at so that you can maintain control of your vehicle. Winter can be hard on your vehicle, especially at night when the temperature gets even colder out. If your vehicle has been parked outside overnight, make sure to allow ample time for it to warm up before you drive it. Running a vehicle and engine that is cold and forced to operate at normal speeds may end up doing damage to it. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks when driving. This can help benefit you and those around you by keeping everyone safe. The most important thing is to make sure you keep a good amount of distance between you and other vehicles when possible. Do not tailgate as you drive. If the roads or weather are in less than ideal condition, make sure to slow down so you can drive safely.