Safe Driving Tips for Winter in West Michigan
Brrrr. Winter came early in West Michigan this year! Here in Kalamazoo, many people didn’t even have time to clean up their leaves before snow started falling. This early winter left many people feeling unprepared for the dangerous driving conditions that come with the accumulation of ice and snow on our roads. While there are some obvious tips that include reducing your speed and giving yourself plenty of room to stop safely, in this post, we will discuss a few of the things that may get overlooked when it comes to driving in winter.
Check your vehicle
No one wants to be stranded in the cold because of a broken-down vehicle. Having your vehicle checked by a mechanic can help you to find any issues before they become a major problem. Besides general maintenance, you should make sure that your:
- Wiper blades are in good condition
- Antifreeze and window-washer fluid is full
- Tires are properly inflated (installing snow tires is even better)
- Battery is charged and in good condition
Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle and make sure that it includes:
- Blankets and warm outerwear
- Jumper cables
- Tow rope
- Kitty litter or sand if you need extra traction
- Nutritious snacks and water
If you do get stuck, there are a few things you should keep in mind, including:
- Do NOT spin your wheels. This will not get you unstuck and will just dig your tires in even more.
- Use the shovel from your emergency kit to shovel snow and ice from around your tires and undercarriage
- Rotate your steering wheel to help clear snow away from your front tires
- Be patient and ease your vehicle out slowly (do not punch the gas)
- If you’re still stuck, try rocking the vehicle by moving forward and backward
For more winter driving tips, check out AAA’s article, here.