Winter Weather Safe Driving Best Practices. Some fortunate drivers never have to deal with the stresses of traveling on snow or ice.
However, for many people, winter conditions affect roadways for multiple months every year. And whether you live in a cold climate or like wintertime road trips.
All of us find ourselves driving in winter conditions at some point. So here are some winter weather-safe driving best practices from experts at Volkswagen.
Winter Weather Safe Driving Practices: What You Need to Know
Modern cars can withstand all kinds of weather conditions and temperatures.
A good vehicle can function whether you’re in the Alaskan Tundra or the high desert.
That said, safe winter driving starts with having the right equipment, regardless of your vehicle type.
Essential winter weather safe driving equipment
First, you need to make sure that your tires are adequate for snow and ice.
And many drivers in cold climates switch out their standard tires for all-season ones before the weather turns cold. Winter tires are designed with a unique tread pattern that provides extra traction.
Further, they have a specific tread depth that’s optimal for handling snow and ice. Some winter tires can last for tens of thousands of miles, while others are only good for a season or two.
In extremely cold and icy climates, vehicle owners may buy studded winter tires. The mix of rubber and metal provides tons of grip on iced-over surfaces.
However, the metal can damage pavement, so some states only allow winter tires at certain times of the year.
Tires are only one part of the winter weather-safe driving equation.
Keeping Your Eyes Focused On The Road
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that all of your lights and windshield wipers are in working order so that you have plenty of visibility.
Switch out your windshield wiper fluid for a winter mixture that won’t create an ice shield on your windshield in low temperatures. Check interior functions like your heater and defroster to ensure that they’re ready for use.
If your windshield has rock chips, get these repaired before the temperatures drop. A tiny chip can quickly grow into a huge crack if it’s not fixed.
Safely Navigating the Road
If an athlete plays a game without warming up, they could end up with an injury.
Your car is the same way – turning on a cold vehicle and immediately driving it at a high speed can be harmful. Instead, ease your car into winter activity.
Let the engine warm up while the car idles for a couple of minutes as part of your winter weather safe driving routine. Then, drive at slow speeds for a few miles before hitting the freeway.
Next, if there’s snow or ice on the roads, give yourself extra time and space for every maneuver. Tap your brakes earlier and slower than you would in normal conditions, and steer carefully.
If you start to slide or spin out on the ice, turn your wheel in the direction that you’re spinning to regain traction.
Volkswagen Winter Safety Features
And while these tips are universal for all cars. We have to point out that VW vehicles come equipped with a variety of safety features for winter weather safe driving. Because the great folks at Volkswagen were the ones who provided these tips in the first place. :0)
Plus, in cars with drive mode selection, you can put the car in ECO mode for a lower throttle rate. So, this prevents the car from sliding out. Some VW vehicles have the DCC comfort drive mode, which also has a low throttle rate.
Finally, VW drivers can rely on their anti-lock braking system to provide extra traction. ABS technology is standard on all modern cars and combined with driver assistance features, it’s highly reliable for keeping you safe.