Winter Driving Basics

After the first snow fall of the year, it always takes Minnesotans a bit of time to brush off (literally) and remember those familiar winter driving skills long forgotten in the glimmer of the summer sun. Here is a winter driving basics refresher in case you need one!

First thing is first. Make you sure you have a winter survival kit in your vehicle complete with:

After your vehicle is packed with these necessities, winter driving basics would never be complete without advice on how to drive in winter conditions. Start by ensuring that the ice and snow is cleared off from the tires and windshield before you head out on the road. To keep the tires from spinning you should apply the gas gradually. Also, make sure you drive at a moderate speed which typically is much slower than the speed limit and keep at least two times the buffer you normally do in order to have plenty of room to apply the brakes.

Keep in mind that driving in winter conditions requires more time and distance when braking, accelerating, and turning and should be done as though you are driving on a glass surface. There is absolutely no room for any sudden braking, turning or stopping; everything has to be gradual and done with great patience. Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your lights are on. Headlights must be on when it is snowing or sleeting. Do not use your cruise control and do not “power up” hills. Build momentum before reaching a hill and don’t stop while traveling uphill. Reduce speed before going downhill. Give yourself plenty of travel time and follow these tips to prepare you during the winter driving season. When in doubt, the key is usually to Just Slow Down. Or Stay Home!

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