Driving in Ohio or anywhere in the Great Lakes area during the winter can be a challenge, even if you have a lot of experience doing it. When the roads are icy and it is harder to see, it increases your chances of getting in a car crash.
Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to increase your safety. Here are some expert winter driving guidelines to stay safe.
1. Prepare your car
Your vehicle needs to be in optimal condition in order to perform in cold weather. The winter can take a toll on many functions of your car. The National Safety Council advises you to have a mechanic check out the following parts and systems before you brave the winter roads:
- Antifreeze level
- Tire wear and pressure
- Spark plugs
- Fan belts
Additionally, you should test your lights and windshield wipers before each drive.
2. Stock up
You need some essential items in your car for both emergencies and common winter tasks. Keep these items in your vehicle:
- Ice scraper
- Snow shovel
- Kitty litter or sand
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire
- Tire chains
- Portable cellphone charger
If you are going on a longer trip, you may want to keep some extra food and water in your car too.
3. Be careful and stay alert
When you get on the road, you should drive slower than normal to maintain more control of your vehicle. You should also increase the distance between your car and anyone in front of you to give yourself more time to stop. Avoid using cruise control and always drive defensively.
Even if you drive in the snow every year, it always helps to remind yourself of best practices to stay safe. These tips will help you avoid accidents.