With snow forecast in Massachusetts, MassAutoQuote offers some tips to keep in mind when driving in winter conditions:
Beware of snow banks! Go slow when pulling in and out of parking lots or side streets. Drive slow, in general, because you can’t see vehicles driving in and out of parking lots and side streets. Road are narrower and driving more harrowing. Be careful.
Be prepared. Have your mechanic check your car’s battery, brakes, fluid levels and tire wear. Keep your gas tank more than half full- it lowers the chance of freezing and you’ll also avoid running out of gas if your stuck in a traffic jam on 128.
Take care in pulling out. Your car reacts differently to accelerating on snow, make sure there is plenty of time/space to get your car up to speed. Remember other vehicles may have trouble braking because of the conditions.
Back your car into the driveway when possible. You’ll have better vision when pulling out.
Be aware of walkers or joggers on the street. When sidewalks are impassable, die hard joggers and dog walkers are forced to venture onto the street for a clearer path. Keep an eye out for them!
When waiting to make a left hand turn, keep the wheels of your car pointed forward. If your wheels are turned to the left and you are rear-ended, your car will be pushed into the path of on-coming traffic.
Braking. If your car does not have anti-lock brakes and you start to skid, pump the brakes to gain control of the skidding. If your car has anti-lock brakes, slam and hold down the brakes to allow the anti-lock system to take over.
When you must travel during a storm, notify others of your estimated time of arrival and your intended route.
If stuck, stay in the car and wait for help. Run the engine and heater sparingly. Also make your exhaust pipe is clear from snow and ventilate your car to prevent carbon monoxide build up.
If stuck in a storm, preserve your energy. Have food (energy bars, trail mix, beef jerky) in your car. They will provide your body with energy to produce its own heat. Have water available to prevent dehydration. Don’t eat snow, it lowers your body temperature- if necessary, melt it first.
Prepare a Winter Driving Kit and leave it in your trunk. Your kit should include an extra pair of gloves, blankets, an ice scraper, food basics (energy bars, trail mix or beef jerky work well), water or energy drink. An affordable car battery- air compressor can provide a battery charge or refill a flat tire.
Driver New to Winter Driving? Find an open location with wintry conditions and let the inexperienced driver practice accelerating and braking on snow. Your car will behave differently on snow and ice and a little practice can make a big difference.