Our top 6 tips for stress free winter driving
1 You Need Extra Weight
Perhaps, most of us own front-wheel-drive compacts and subcompacts. These vehicles are very light in the fanny. As a result, the lightest steering input can cause significant spinouts on slippery roads.
We recommend adding a little junk in your trunk. You can put a lidded plastic pail of sand or any other snow-grip grit in all corners of the cargo area. It will enhance handling characteristics significantly and offer easy-to-access traction if you slide off into an icy ditch.
Remember, secure each weight placed in the cargo area of your minivan or sports utility firmly to prevent it from becoming a deadly projectile in a collision. Also, avoid steel rails or concrete blocks for the same reason. The easiest and the safest way to add some weight is to ensure the fuel tank is full.
2 Never Drive Without Proper Winter Tires
If your vehicle lacks winter tires, leave it at home and seek alternative transportation. It is dangerous to drive on bare, dry pavement with all-season tires in winter due to their inability to remain flexible and grippy in freezing temperatures.
Also, rushing to join hundreds of other motorists on busy, snow-covered roads without snow tires is foolhardy. While you might think your excellent driving skills will help to gain superior traction, it’s important to consider other inexperienced drivers who’ll be sharing the road with you.
3 Avoid Distractions As Much As Possible
Concentrating on one thing at a time is good. Perhaps, this is a general guiding principle of life. When driving on icy and snowy roads or black ice is reaching out for your wheels, put away your cellphone, GPS display, iPod and any other electronic gadget.
Put them in a place where you can’t reach them quickly. Leave them there until you arrive at your destination. Otherwise, you may find yourself calling your mom or texting your office secretary from the center of an expressway median or the bottom of a ditch.
4 Proper Vision Is a Must
You should remove ice and snow from the front and rear windshields, and from each door window and side mirrors. Ensure the windshield is free of frost before you leave the driveway.
Keep your carpeting and floor mats dry to help reduce the buildup of overnight frost on the inside of your windshields and other windows.
To cool down the interior flooring of your car, you need to switch off the heater for the last few kilometers of your daily trip home. Therefore, you will be reducing the total humidity in the cabin.
As a way of being considerate, clear any ice or snow off the trunk lid, roof and the hood to avoid blinding a motorist behind you. Remember to top off the windshield washer fluid.
5 Know the Right Time to Head Out
Your alarm clock is the best item you can maximize to manage extreme winter conditions. If the weather forecaster announces some nasty stuff overnight, then set your alarm 30-40 minutes early, or switch it off and head in late.
If you start early, you will have some valuable preparation time and get an opportunity to drive according to the road conditions. An early start will help you avoid a lot of chaos, especially the first real blast of winter.
6 Do Not Strain Yourself
Always work within your limits or skill level. Resist any temptation to over speed and to outrun a storm. Don’t succumb to the intimidation of other motorists tailgating to get your speed up. Maintain a safe and consistent speed without violating any traffic laws.
Pull over to a rest area or spend the night at the nearest motel as you wait for the storm to disappear. In some instances, it’s best to postpone your trip altogether when the roads are dangerous.
So there you have it, our top 6 tips for stress free winter driving in Manitoba, be safe.