Winter Weather Driving Safety

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New England is getting a wicked brutal winter this year.  And lucky for me (NOT), I live in New England! We have snow everywhere. Sure, snow can be pretty. Snow can even be fun.

However, Snowmageddon 2015 has been a pain-in-the-keester when it comes to driving. Just getting to your car through its extra-thick blanket of snow is a chore–gone are the days when you’d just jump in your Honda and GO. Here are some simple tips for safer winter driving!

  1. Keep it clear. Make sure you clear the windshield (and the hood and the roof) of your vehicle before you set out. This goes for the back as well. Having any unnecessary snow or ice left can cause more snow to build up as you are driving during a snowstorm. Replacing your windshield washer fluid with an anti-frost fluid will help clear those hard-to-budge ice patches. Keeping it clear also pertains to the side mirrors, headlights, and backlights. This will ensure that you have the best visibility possible when driving in a snowstorm.  
  2. Bring extra supplies. Extra windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, a small shovel, and a bag of sand or kitty litter are some helpful items to have in your vehicle during the winter months. If you are like me, you probably have 3 scrapers floating around your house–put them in the car!. A shovel is also helpful if you get stuck in a pile of snow. Sand & kitty litter work wonders for gaining traction on the ice. Make sure your emergency kit is stocked and ready, too.
  3. Fill Up Your Tank: I highly recommend driving with your gas tank as close to full as possible at all times during the winter months. I know, I know, it’s not convenient to be stopping for gas all the time (although Hondas are very fuel-efficient so you should be OK.) But that is nothing compared to the mammoth inconvenience you will experience if you get on the highway, get stuck in snowstorm-related traffic, and run out of gas.  No, thank you!
  4. Take it slow. Lowering your normal speed by 5-10 mph is always a wise choice when roads are covered with snow and ice. I drive a Crosstour  and my husband drives a Pilot and that 4WD is fantastic, let me tell you. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, those icy patches can come seemingly out of nowhere. Besides, going slowly will help limit the damage in case of a collision. On the road, stay about 3-4 car lengths behind a vehicle: if the driver ahead of you skids or gets stuck, you’ll have the space you need to control your own vehicle.
  5. Be patient. Really, we are all in the same boat here, and leaning on your horn, playing “chicken” on the now-one-lane streets, or yelling at people is not helpful to the situation, mmmkay? I have seen enough examples of jerky behavior on the road to last me til spring and beyond. It’s like road rage on steroids. It’s SNOW rage. (Is that a thing? It should be.) Calm down, people! We will get through this!

Utilizing these tips will help make your trip on the road a safer one. To learn more about winter driving safety, visit AAA and don’t forget to stay up to date with the current weather forecast! It always pays to be prepared. We’ve got places to go. Work, school, and life still go on during the winter, and we can’t all just stay at home in our jammies when the first flake appears. Besides, have you ever been stuck in the house with kids on the third consecutive snow day after a month of weekly storms? GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!

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