Stay Safe with Winter Driving Tips from Heidebreicht Chevrolet

Nervous about winter travel? Here’s helpful tips for regular and long-distance driving, as well as driving in the snow that are sure to help you feel and remain more safe.

Driving in the Winter

  1. Warm up your vehicle in an open area.
  2. Keep your tank at least half full to prevent gas line freeze.
  3. Don’t use cruise control when road surface is slippery.
  4. Always look and steer where you need to go.
  5. Always wear your seat belt.
  6. Don’t mix regular tires with other types, ie. winter tires.
  7. Be rested and avoid driving while fatigued.
  8. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, keeping in mind the air condenses with plummeting temperatures. Check proper inflation pressures at colder temps.
  9. Don’t use your parking brake in cold, rainy, snowy weather.

Driving in the Snow

  1. Drive slower. Everything takes longer in the snow so give more time to maneuver.
  2. Accelerate and decelerate slower. You’ll regain traction and avoid skids by applying the gas more slowly, and you’ll stop more safely by slowing down sooner.
  3. The normal following distance of 3-4 seconds should increase to 8-10 seconds.
  4. The best way to stop is “threshold braking” by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor and using the ball of our foot to apply firm and steady pressure on the brake.
  5. Only stop when you have to. It takes a lot more power to start moving from a full stop than while still rolling. So slow down enough to keep rolling until a light changes, if you can.
  6. Don’t speed up on hills – it just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get some inertia going before the hill and let it carry you up. As you reach the crest of the hill, decrease your speed and proceed down as slowly as possible.
  7. Don’t stop when going up-hill, as it’s too hard to get moving up hll when icy. Get inertia going before you head up.
  8. Stay home when the weather’s bad. Just because you may drive carefully in the snow, doesn’t mean everyone else does. When in doubt, don’t.

Driving the Distance in the Winter

  1. Delay long-distance trips when bad weather is expected and/or driving in isolated areas. Check the weather reports and if you do go, let others know your route and ETA.
  2. Make sure your vehicle is weather-ready by having it inspected at Heidebreicht’s Service Department.
  3. Always carry a cell phone and winter supplies such as blankets, gloves, hat, snacks, water and needed medication.
  4. In case of becoming snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides shelter and is easier for rescuers to locate you. Never try to walk in a severe storm, as it’s too easy to lose sight of your vehicle and become lost.
  5. Don’t try to dig or push your vehicle out of the snow by yourself.
  6. Signal distress by tying a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or in the top of a window. If at night, keep the dome light on if possible, as it only uses a small amount of electricity.
  7. Check the exhaust pipe periodically to make sure it isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. Blocked exhaust can cause fatal carbon monoxide gas to leak into the car with the engine running.

So drive safe and stay safe this winter.


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