Because of the holidays, most of us will wind up driving in weather conditions that are less than ideal. Though unfavorable driving conditions may be unavoidable, there are many tips you can put to use that can help prevent an accident.

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Pre-Trip Checklist

You should have a car maintenance routine before you embark on any long drive, but it is even more important to have one before you take a winter trip. Make sure to check the following items:

  • Tire Pressure and tread depth
  • Windshield Wiper fluid
  • Windshield Wiper blades
  • Antifreeze
  • Oil
  • Turn Signals
  • Brake Lights
  • Working Ice Scrapper
  • Snow Salt
  • Snow Shovel
  • Full gas tank
  • Car Cell Phone Charger
  • Jumper Cables

Checking the Weather Report

Obviously, if you know a blizzard is heading towards where you are driving, it would not be wise to drive. That being said, sometimes weather can change quickly. Even if conditions looked favorable a few days ago, it's best to check the weather before you leave to make sure you won't encounter any unforeseen inclement weather.

Have An Emergency Contact Plan

You should let someone at your destination know when you're leaving and when to expect you, especially if you're going to experience any winter storms on your way. If you experience a delay, let them know you're running a little bit behind. This way, if you happen to get in an accident, and can't call for help, someone will have a general idea of where you are on you trip and make it easier to track you down if you need to be located.

Drive With Extra Caution

You should always drive several car lengths behind the car in front of you, but during the winter it's wise to add another length or two. You never know when the car in front of you will hit a patch of black ice. Having that extra distance between you and them might be the difference between a fender bender and a safe stop.

Also, be more aware of other drivers and distractions they may be facing. Families might be traveling with a car full of kids, causing an extra distraction, or a driver might be struggling to figure out their directions and be fumbling with their phone, taking their eyes off of the road.