Top Winter Driving Tips
Winter in Northern Colorado can be a very dangerous time. Especially if you're going to be driving. That is why it's important to do everything you can to be as safe as possible. We at Colorado Motorcar Co understand that these conditions can test even the most experienced of drivers. That's why we've put together a list of the top winter driving tips to help you get through the winter months unscathed.
Check Vehicle Condition Before Each Trip
- Clean all snow, ice, and debris from your truck, especially around the roof, hood, trunk, lights, and windows. Decreased visibility is no fun when you're driving in potentially treacherous conditions.
- Inspect tires, wiper blades, lights, and fluids. A heavy snowstorm is no time to find out that your windshield wipers need to be replaced.
- Try to keep at least half a tank of gas at all times while driving during the winter. Running out of gas can be a life threatening proposition if the conditions are rough. Don't chance it.
Start Slower, Drive Slower
- Roadways may be slick from ice, sleet, or snow. This causes poor traction while could lead to accidents. Do yourself a favor and increase following distance, drive slower, and make all changes as gently as possible. Slower speeds give you more time to react if you encounter something in the roadway. Having extra patience and awareness will help out tremendously this time of year.
Carry a Winter Driving Kit
- Keep a winter kit close by and stocked with essentials.
- Extra clothes. This is a necessity if your clothing somehow becomes wet. Hypothermia is real and no joke.
- A flashlight (and batteries). This is a no-brainer and will help you in a mtriad of ways. Always make sure your batteries are fresh. We suggest checking them often.
- A blanket. Staying warm is your first priority in our area. Make sure you always carry this necessity.
- Non-perishable food and water. For those extended times being a way from civilization. You need to keep up your strength.
- A First Aid Kit. Accidents happen. Be prepared for them.
- A windshield scraper and brush. You never know when you're going to have to remove ice or snow.
- Jumper Cables. Batteries die, especially in very cold weather. These area a must have for winter driving.
- Cell Phone and charger. Being stuck is no fun. Make sure you can reach someone to help you out.
- Tire chains. You neever know when you'll need to chain up.
Brake and Accelerate Slowly
- Try to avoid sudden starts and stops in winter weather. Pumping your brakes is your best bet if you have to slow down quickly in slippery conditions. Just lightly pump using the ball of your foot while keeping your heel on the floor. This helps keep the tires from locking and you from losing control of the truck.
Watch for Black Ice
- Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that forms when the temperature hovers around freezing. It makes the road look slightly wet like a puddle, making it deceptive and dangerous. Bridges, overpasses, and intersections tend to be the areas where this ice forms first and be the most slippery.
Give Extra Space in the Front and Behind
- Give yourself a bigger cushion just in case you have to move out of harm's way in a sudden emergency. The stopping distance required on ice at 0℉ is twice the amount required at 32℉. Increase your following distance by 8-10 second when driving in potentially slippery weather.
Be Extra Cautious When Driving in Mountains
- Mountain weather can be very severe and change rapidly. Be ready for gusts of wind in exposed areas and keep a watch out for emergency vehicles and snowplows. Watch for melting and hard-packed snow and strong side winds, as these can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Tire chains may be advisable, or required, for certain routes.
Taking time to make sure your truck is as safe as possible is never a fool's errand. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call or come on down to the dealership and check out our amazing selection of high-quality used trucks or SUVs. And, as always, be safe out there.