Top 10 Accessories for Winter Driving Safety & Winter Driving Tips
We all know that winter driving comes with additional safety risks. Being prepared during the winter in a snowy state like Colorado is essential for safe driving. In this article, learn the tips you need to know for safe driving in snowy conditions, as well as the top 10 accessories you’ll need this season.
How to be a Safe Winter Driver
To be ready for the snowy season, you’ll need to check all of the following boxes. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to control others on the road, but being prepared will ensure that you’ll be ready to tackle a winter event.
- Prepare your windshield – Have winter deicer washer fluid, proper heavy-duty wipers and defrosters for both the front, and rear windshields
- Check your floor mats – make sure your floor mats are properly installed
- Invest in all-season tires or snow tires – plus, inspect your tires regularly for any damage
- Check your tire pressure – listed in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door frame
- Stay alert – drive slower in the snow, avoid risky drivers, and navigate around snowplows
- Test your battery – battery power drops as the temperature drops
- Keep your gas tank at least half full – avoid a potential gas line freeze
- Clean your vehicle’s external camera lenses and side-view mirrors – keep a clean and stable line of sight
- Stay home – if you can change your plans during a snowstorm, do it
If You Must Venture Out During a Storm
Staying home during a storm may not be possible. If you must drive, know how to avoid a crash. Many cars, especially those with all-season tires and four-wheel drive do well in the snow, but most cannot stay in control on ice. When you’re driving in snowy conditions, make sure to follow these steps:
- Don’t use your cruise control
- If skidding, steer in the direction of the skid and do not overcorrect the vehicle
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly
- Drive further back from a vehicle than you normally would
- Avoid stopping when you’re going up a hill
10 Must-Have Accessories for Safe Winter Driving
It’s important to stock-pile the right items to ensure you’re safe during a major winter storm, or in the unfortunate event of a winter accident. These are the items we recommend having on-hand during winter driving.
1. Ice Scrapers & Snow Brushes
Having an ice scraper and snow brush on hand in the winter is essential for winter driving – especially in snowy, icy places like Colorado! You can find these essential tools in most gas stations and convenience stores.
2. Snow Chains
Snow chains are a light addition to your vehicle tools, and you will need a set of two. With snow chains, you can install them in the event of bad weather to avoid any slips and crashes. This works well especially if you are not driving with snow tires.
3. Reflective Triangles
Having reflective triangles can add a layer of safety in the event of a crash. Sometimes getting help can take hours, and snow conditions can cause issues for another driver’s sight. These will help you avoid any additional issues.
4. Heated Blanket
Depending on where you’re driving, and the area of an accident, you may be stuck for hours. Having a 12-volt heated blanket that plugs into your vehicle’s charger port will help you stay warm.
5. Heavy Duty Floor Mats
Having fitted rubber mats for your vehicle won’t necessarily help you in the event of a crash, but they will keep snow, slush, and mud from ruining the floor of your car.
6. Kitty Litter or Sand
This item seems random, but it can absolutely help you get your vehicle un-stuck. If your tires are spinning, spread kitty litter or sand under the tires to help them gain traction.
7. Snow Shovel
Sometimes the abrasive material mentioned above doesn’t work to get your car unstuck. Having a snow shovel on hand will be handy when you need to dig yourself out of a snowy mess.
8. Jumper Cables
Booster cables are necessary to have on hand at all times, but even more so in the winter. As mentioned above, cold weather can affect your battery life.
9. First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit during all seasons is essential in case of an auto accident. With accident probability increasing in winter driving, it’s even more important now.
10. Food and Water
And lastly, make sure you have enough food and water on hand in your vehicle during the winter for 24 hours. Getting stuck can be frustrating, but being thirsty and hungry will add an additional layer of frustration that you don’t need!
So, there you have it. We hope this guide has given you everything you need to stay safe during your winter drive. When you do get into an accident in the Colorado Front Range, after the event, make sure to give us a call to start the process of fixing your vehicle.