5 Things You Need to Know about Traveling in Inclement Weather
Traveling North for the Holidays? 5 Things You Need to Know about Traveling in Inclement Weather
- Good tires are essential. No matter what other preparations you take, they won’t be worth much if you don’t have a good set of tires. Not only should you have the proper tires (summer tires won’t do much good–go for winter tires or all-season tires), but you should make sure they’re in good shape. If the tread is worn, you won’t be able to keep your grip on the road very well, and it will be dangerous to drive. A good way to tell if the tread is good is the coin trick: insert a penny head-down into grooves of your tires. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tire tread, you have at least 2/32? of tread depth left. Anything less than 2/32? is dangerous. However, if you want to be extra safe, you should replace your tires before they reach this low level.
- All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive aren’t magic. Your friends in snowy regions may have sung the praises of all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive–and these drivetrains can be useful in improving your traction in inclement weather. However, they still have limitations. On icy surfaces, for example, friction is low, and even the improved traction offered by all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive can’t make up for the lack of friction. A front-wheel drive car that’s driven carefully at safe speeds is much more likely to arrive safely than an all-wheel drive car that’s driven too fast.
- It pays to be prepared.Some vehicles are better suited to dealing with inclement weather than others; however, even these vehicles can get stuck sometimes. It’s always a good idea to carry supplies in case you need to stop by the side of the road until the weather calms down (and if you feel like you can’t drive safely in the weather, pulling over in a safe place is always a better option than trying to continue on). Thermal blankets, snow shovels, reflecting triangles, and other items can help you stay safe, and it never hurts to bring extra clothes or some food along. Even if you’re not stuck, you should always carry a windshield scraper with you to clear your windshield and windows of snow, ice, and frost.
- Watch out for trouble spots. Although driving in inclement weather is riskier no matter where you are, there are certain spots that are more dangerous. Bridges tend to be icier than normal roads–since they’re not connected to the ground, they don’t have the benefit of ground heat. Intersections also tend to be icier, so watch out when you’re stopping, starting, or turning. If you start to slide in a turn, remember to stay calm, release your brakes, and turn into the slide.
- Be careful. This one may seem to go without saying, but it’s important–careless driving causes numerous wrecks that could have been easily prevented. You may already be a careful driver, but inclement weather has its own additional set of rules. Slow down, leave extra room between your vehicle and other vehicles, and try to avoid excessive force–slamming on brakes or accelerating quickly is a sure way to lose control. If you have any doubts, just remember to play it safe.
We hope that these tips have helped. Of course, if you have any other questions, you can find other resources online or contact us for extra information. We wish you safe travel at Bob Boyte Honda, and we look forward to seeing you soon!