Winter Driving: Stay safe driving in the snow

Driving in snow, Winter tires, snow tiresWinter is just around the corner, which means that adverse weather conditions like snow, ice, and freezing temperatures are going to make the roads that much more dangerous and pose significant risks for both experienced and brand-new drivers.

At Fast Tire, we want to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road, so we’ve put together our winter driving guide which includes five key tips for staying safe during those winter drives.

5 Safety Tips for Driving in the Winter

Winter driving doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a little preparation and a few key reminders, you can continue to trek through the roads without worrying about your vehicle or your safety.

Tip 1: Prep Your Vehicle Before Winter

Before you even spot the first snowflake, it’s vital you properly prepare your vehicle for any and all challenges that lie ahead. A good place to start is by checking your tires, making sure they have adequate tread and are properly inflated. Having good traction is extremely important when driving on slippery surfaces. Another good tip is to switch to winter tires for added grip.

We also recommend checking your vehicle’s brakes, lights, and heating system, as well as your windshield wipers – as these will be your best friend against rough snow on your windshield.

Tip 2: Drive Slower and Be Mindful of Following Distances

Driving too fast for the current road conditions is a common cause of accidents any time of the year, but especially during the winter. To protect yourself, your vehicle, and other drivers, reduce your speed and maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you during harsher weather days. As it takes longer to stop on icy or snow-covered roads, it’s always better to allow for extra time to react to unexpected situations.

Tip 3: Watch Out for Black Ice

Black ice is incredibly dangerous as the transparent layer it forms on the road is difficult to see for most drivers. Because black ice is more difficult to spot, it’s harder to correct when the vehicle becomes unsteady. If you suspect black ice, ease off the gas pedal, keep a steady hand on the steering wheel, and avoid any sudden maneuvers and be extra careful on higher risk areas, including bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas.

Tip 4: Clear Any Ice or Snow on Your Car

Before every drive, make sure that your vehicle is completely free of any ice or snow. Doing this takes minutes, but will help tremendously when it comes to ensuring you can see properly on the road. Clear all windows, lights, and side mirrors – the three most important parts of your vehicle when it comes to visibility.

We also recommend removing snow on the roof as well in order to prevent it from slipping down your car and obstructing your vision.

Tip 5: Always Plan Ahead

Finally, the last and most important winter safety tip is planning ahead. Check the weather app on your phone or watch the news before you leave to see if there are any potentially dangerous issues that will affect your drive.

It’s always best to keep in contact with friends and family if you’re going on long car rides during the winter just in case your car breaks down or you get lost. To add to this tip, it’s always recommended to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, with items that can be useful such as:

  • An Ice scraper
  • A snowbrush
  • A shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight
  • and blankets

Set Your Car Up for Success this Winter at Fast Tire

At Fast Tire, we understand the challenge that come from winter driving and are here to help you reduce these with expert, reliable vehicle maintenance services, such as tires & tire repair, oil changes, brakes, and more!

View our services today or request an appointment to get your car winter ready!

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Are Your Tires Ready For Winter?

With the winter season upon us, it is inevitable we will soon be dealing with colder temperatures, snow, and ice. Properly maintained tires are vital to the safety of your vehicle during the winter months. Your tires are your vehicle’s only contact with the road. Because of this, there are a few precautions you should take before the weather becomes unfavorable.

• All four of your tires should be the same type, size, tread pattern, speed rating, and load index. Differences in these factors can negatively affect a vehicle’s handling and stability.
• Proper inflation and pressure are imperative. Having inadequate tire pressure can cause unnecessary wear, as well as impact your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Keep in mind that as the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your tires. Make it a priority to check your tires’ pressure every few weeks in the winter.
• Have your tires checked for proper alignment and tread. This is something that should be done on a regular basis, but is most crucial to have done in preparation for winter.
• Make sure your tires are in good shape, or get new ones. Tires that are worn, cracked, or out of balance can seriously hinder your ability to drive and control your car. The majority of winter accidents are caused by loss of control of the vehicle on snowy or icy roads.
• Should you decide to get new tires, winter or snow tires are the best bet for those living in regions that have particularly cold and snowy winter months. Snow tires can provide up to 20% better snow traction than all-season tires. With snow tires, you receive the benefits of shorter braking distances as well as more predictable and controllable turning.
• If you choose not to purchase winter/snow tires, be sure to check the tread on your current tires. The next time you do purchase tires, check for deep grooves on the edges of the tires. These types of grooves move both snow and water outwards from underneath your tire, creating better handling and traction year-round.

Winterize your vehicle

If the weather turns frightful is your vehicle ready for winter driving? Stay safe & keep your vehicle in good working order this winter with the following tips:

Battery Test Check Mark Battery test-If the battery is not checked, there is a chance the particularly cold nights will be too much, making the battery unable to power on the next day.

Antifreeze Check Mark Antifreeze-Another serious issue that often comes up in the winter is lack of enough coolant, which can cause the engine to freeze and possibly crack, causing detrimental harm.

Charging Systems Check Mark Charging system check-Your charging system needs to be tested to ensure it can handle running multiple items such as your defrosters, headlights, and heater at once.

Belt and Hoses Check Mark Belt & hose inspection-Cracked or worn belts are a big reason why cars break down. Similarly, hoses need to be inspected for leaks, bulging, etc. These should be checked annually before the winter months, so there is no chance of getting stranded out in the cold unnecessarily.

Brake Check Mark Brake check-Having brakes in good condition is imperative for slippery winter roads. Having your brakes and ABS system checked each year ensures you will be able to come to a stop easily should you happen to slide.

Oil Change Check Mark Oil change-Important year-round, having your oil changed for the winter months is a step you should not forget. Be sure to refer to your car’s owner manual, as some car manufacturers suggest using a different grade of oil for colder temperatures.

Wiper Blade Check Mark New wiper blades-It is necessary to have windshield wiper blades in good condition for when you get caught driving in the snow. There are even a variety of specialty wiper blades made specifically for snowy weather.

Tire Check Mark Tire maintenance-It is of utmost importance to make sure your tire pressure is at a good level. Tires should be inspected, as well as rotated if you have not done so recently.

Other helpful tips:

  • Run your air conditioning roughly once per month. This will help decrease the time it takes your windows to defog.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full. The added weight helps in slippery conditions, and it also helps prevent moisture from forming.
  • Do not forget to keep a snow brush/ice scraper in your car.

Car-X provides a wide array of winterization products and services. Find a location near you, and let us take the worry out of winter driving.