With the winter months quickly approaching, drivers face several challenges, from icy roads to reduced visibility. Below, you will learn more about the factors that make winter driving challenging, the importance of being prepared before hitting the road, and how to stay safe.
Prepare Your Truck
Be sure your truck is ready to face the winter weather and road conditions. Below are some vehicle preparations and steps to winterize your truck.
- Check the coolant system for leaks.
- Test and replace coolant as needed.
- Ensure you are using the correct engine oil.
- Test the battery and clean the connections.
- Inspect the air dryer.
- Check coolant heaters and oil heaters.
- Ensure the heater and defroster are working correctly.
- Check for chips and cracks in the windshield.
- Refill windshield wiper solution.
- Check tires for wear and tear and proper air pressure.
The Importance of Winter Tires
Winter tires are essential when traveling on icy and snowy roads. Winter tires are soft rubber, so they do not harden as quickly in sub-zero weather. If your tires do not grip the road, you must drive slower. With winter tires, you get the maximum grip capacity. This way, you can drive safely at higher speeds since the tires can cut through snow and ice.
Master Safe Braking
Braking on snow and icy roads takes a different approach than you would on regular roads. It is better to take evasive action instead of hard braking on ice- and snow-covered roads. To do so, you would reduce your speed slowly instead of slamming on your breaks.
There is often limited visibility in winter weather conditions. Ensure you have good windshield wipers on your truck and your wiper fluid is filled. A primary concern when driving in winter conditions is going through fog. Other than using defrost – there are some alternatives to combat fog.
- Ensure the recirculation feature is turned off.
- Do not put heat on your feet. If your shoes or truck mat is covered in snow or water, the evaporation will increase the moisture in the air and cause more fog.
Use Light Signals
Properly using your lights and signals is essential when driving through winter conditions. This ensures that you and your truck are visible to others on the road during winter weather.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Even though you may feel fully prepared, emergencies can happen to anyone at any time. Be sure you are prepared for the unexpected with all the essential items in your truck if you get stranded alongside the road. Some of these items include.
- Warm blankets
- Snow shovel
- Phone charger
- Jumper cables
- Antifreeze and radiator fluid
- Emergency Aid kit
- Warm winter clothes and gloves
- Nonperishable food items
Stay Informed on Weather Updates and Road Conditions
Stay ahead of winter storms by listening to and watching weather updates and road conditions.
Snow-packed and icy roads can be hard to drive on, but you can go confidently with the proper knowledge and experience. Whether a veteran driver or a newbie, these tips can help you be better prepared for winter weather driving.
Stay Safe – Stay Confident