If you’ve ever been stuck in severe winter weather you know how intimidating and dangerous it can be for automobile travel. Drivers should be extra careful on the roads and be well prepared to deal with any winter road emergencies. Green Kia gently reminds our customers to be cautious while driving in adverse weather conditions because your health and happiness is our top priority. These are four winter weather driving tips.
De-Icing Your Windshield
Whatever you do, don’t use hot water unless you want to deal with a bunch of shattered glass. The first thing to do is to start your car and then turn on your front and rear defrosters. This will help melt the ice and snow and also warm up the inside of your car. When you’re ready to scrape the ice off, use a plastic ice scraper because plastic scrapers won’t damage or scratch the glass surface. Don’t use your windshield wipers until after you’ve completely removed the snow and ice from the windshield. Also, make sure your car has enough windshield washer fluid before you head out.
How to Get Unstuck
If you find yourself stuck in the snow or ice, try to avoid the temptation to spin your wheels. This will just dig you into a deeper hole. Instead, safely get out of your vehicle and look for the path of least resistance between your car and clear ground. Then, try to clear the snow behind your wheels and in front of them as well. If you can, generously pour kitty litter or sand around your tires. Also, keep in mind that the more your front wheels are turned, the more resistance you will have in movement in any direction, so try to keep your front tires as straight as possible.
How to Handle a Skid
If your car begins to slide, keep calm and follow these simple steps. First of all, don’t allow yourself to panic. Take a deep breath and refrain from slamming on the brakes. Remove your foot from the gas pedal and steer your car in the direction you want to go. Wait for the car to stop skidding and to slow down so you can recover control. The best thing to do is to prepare ahead of time for handling a skid by practicing in an open parking lot.
Winter Road Essentials
You should always pack some wintertime essentials in your vehicle so you’ll be prepared in the event of an emergency. First start with car essentials, such as flares, a jack, a spare tire, driving chains and a windshield scraper. Next, get together some things that will help keep you safe and comfortable if you get stuck out in the cold. This includes an extra coat, gloves, a warm hat, a blanket or two, hand and feet warmers, bottled water, an extra power pack and charging cord for your cell phone, a lighter, flashlight, and snacks.
Winter can be a stressful time, especially for driving. So make sure you are well prepared with plenty of rest and everything you need to keep you and your family safe on the road.