Snow has already fallen or is about to fall on many parts of the country. Driving in winter, particularly in mountain terrain, is different than driving on dry roads during warm weather months. Taking a number of precautions can make a big difference on how the journey unfolds for a skiing and snowboarding experience.
You may have to dig out your car first but a trip to the mountains for skiing or snowboarding is worth it.
Some “smart driving” tips (see below) will help you get there and back and also help with driving in your own backyard. Safety is paramount tno matter where you are going but especially if you are planning a mountain getaway with friends or family members.
A recent article in Outside magazine points out that ” tires are the only component of your vehicle that is in contact with the surface you’re driving on. That makes them the most important component on your vehicle. Various drive systems like four or all-wheel drive are only able to take advantage of the traction provided by your tires. Same with your brakes”..
Ice or snow buildup can impede one’s ability to see, so it is important to remove all ice and/or snow from all car windows, the windshield and the washer fluid nozzle. Build up can also prevent the washer fluid nozzle from dispensing fluid.
Let the defroster run for a few minutes before moving the car. This will help ensure that the windshield washer fluid is defrosted.
Keep the defroster on while driving to prevent the windshield wipers from freezing.
Be cautious when braking. Allow for extra distance on slipper roads.
Accelerate gradually and avoid sudden maneuvers.
Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
Keep the front defroster on low to help keep road salt from solidifying on your windshield.
Make sure your windshield washer dispenser has plenty of fluid before you depart to and from your destination. Know where you keep your reserve supply.
Pay attention to road condition advisories and updates and heed restrictions.
Avoid driving when fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before starting a trip and quit your activity before you get too tired to drive home.
Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid water condensation in the fuel lines.
If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold and snowy weather.
Remember to fasten seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
Of course, if you do have a problem, there is always AAA.
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