It’s nerve-wracking enough having your teenager driving out on the road independently. But when harsh winter weather rolls around, it’s even scarier letting your teen get behind the wheel. Have them follow these tips to stay safe out there this season.
Tip #1: Reduce Your Speed
Because icy roads are slippery, and snow-covered roads are harder to traverse, you should always drive slowly in bad winter weather. Just because traffic signs indicate a speed limit does not necessarily mean you should drive that fast in winter weather. Always drive for conditions.
Tip #2: Increase Your Following Distance
Along the same lines as reducing your speed, you should increase the amount of space between you and the car in front of you when driving in snow or other inclement weather conditions. While the normal following distance on dry pavement is 3 to 4 seconds, in winter weather this should be increased to 8 to 10 seconds.
Tip #3: Don’t Let Your Gas Level Get Too Low
The last thing you want is to get stranded somewhere in the middle of harsh winter weather. Even if you get stuck for reasons other than running out of gas, the engine is your only source of heat, and you don’t want to lose that. During wintertime, you should try to keep your gas tank close to full at all times to avoid these issues.
Tip #4: Check Your Cooling System
Generally, you’ll need a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water in your car during the winter. This has a lower freezing point than 100% coolant, and will better transfer heat away from the engine.
Tip #5: Be Sure You Have an Emergency Kit
You should keep an emergency kit in your car at all times, regardless of the season, but in winter this becomes especially important. Some of the items you should store in your car in case of emergency include:
- A flashlight
- Jumper cables
- Material such as sand or kitty litter, to help if your car gets stuck in the snow
- Ice scraper
Tip #6: Avoid Driving in Bad Weather
The best tactic to keep yourself out of harm’s way is to simply avoid driving in winter weather altogether. Obviously this is not always possible, but you should stay off the road as much as you can in poor weather conditions. You’ll keep yourself and everyone else safest this way.
About the Author:
Kelly Larsen is a copywriter for I Drive Safely, the nation’s number one provider of online traffic school and driver’s education. With over 15 years’ experience in the field of safe driving, I Drive Safely has provided exceptional online courses to millions of new drivers, drivers looking to handle a traffic ticket and clear their diving record, or drivers looking to save money on auto insurance. To find out more or sign up, please visit https://www.idrivesafely.com/. You can follow more of Kelly’s posts on Google+.