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Winter driving

Winter Driving has many aspects to it. At best, it is a multi-faceted challenge and a life-threatening hazard at worst. For most of the conditions you'll experience, it's somewhere in between.

Just to name a few winter facts of life, you'll encounter:

  • Winter road conditions e.g. icy, slippery or snowy roads
  • Winter weather conditions e.g. raining, snowing, sleeting or all of them - sometimes all at once!
  • Road conditions e.g. potholes and cracked pavement
  • Vehicle damage e.g. rust spots, engine wear and tear, chipped paint from flying stones or other debris
  • Road hazards e.g snowplows and salt trucks and naturally....
  • Other vehicles on the road e.g. crazy speedsters, inattentive and careless drivers and truck drivers.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that winter driving is a multi-faceted challenge at best and a life-threatening hazard at worst. For most of the conditions you'll encounter, it's somewhere in between.

Depending on where you live, winter could be mild to downright arctic starting in the late fall to late spring. You may need snow or winter tires or not, or you may need tire chains if you live in very hilly or mountainous areas or you may only use them when you are going skiing or you may not need them at all.

First day of winter

Officially, winter starts on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere. It doesn't mean that's when the snow arrives too. We've had the first snowfall in late October and it's not let up until April. In other years, it's been late November or early December. One year, snow didn't arrive until January! You just never know when on the calendar it will be. Rest assured, the cold, the snow and the winter will arrive in due time!

First snowfall

Every year with the first snowfall, drivers develop annual amnesia and become forgetful and clueless about how to drive in winter weather - again! After having months of good weather, they seem to forget completely and merrily drive along as if there's no snow! We've all seen these drivers who seem to think they can do what they like regardless of the treacherous winter weather. Their actions certainly cause anxiety, disbelief and sometimes, grief among the rest of us.

Same rules apply all year round but in winter, the main ones are:

  • Slow down
  • Be vigilant while driving
  • Use common sense
  • Drive to suit the kind of winter road conditions you find yourself in at the time.

By combining all these things together, you'll be able to handle the winter weather very well indeed.

Winter weather conditions

There are quite a few different weather events that you can experience in a winter. When you venture forth on the roads and highways, you'll need to be aware of what to expect.

Driving safety

Learning a few safe winter driving techniques will help you navigate the winter roads and highways more confidently and safely.

Driving tips

Driving safely in winter comes down to basic common sense; slower speeds and driving to suit the type of road conditions are among the best winter driving tips.

Driving challenges

Winter driving has it own challenges but with some basic knowledge and applying that knowledge to when you are driving, getting around is quite simple and fairly easy.

Emergency car kit

You'll need to have an emergency car kit in your vehicle at all times for those unexpected road conditions, challenges and outright problems you may encounter for both everyday and long trips.

Driving hazards

Any winter driving includes a number of specific weather related driving hazards such as passing snow clearing and salt trucks and watching out for bridges and overpasses that freeze more quickly than regular roads and highway pavements.

Car care

Keeping your vehicle in good shape for the winter months is essential. With regular maintenance and other checks specific to driving in winter being done before and during the winter is key to safe driving.

Road dangers

Throughout the winter season, there are different winter road dangers you need to watch out for whenever you drive.

Road trip planning

You have to make sure that your trip preparation includes your vehicle being in good shape, what to pack for any car emergency and safety precautions in how you plan to travel there.

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