Winter Driving: Five Road Safety Tips
There’s something magic about waking up to a beautiful Minnesota snowfall. That sense of wonder quickly disappears when you remember how much regular driving you have to do. Everyone here in Waite Park, MN takes road safety seriously this time of year, but it’s always smart to review basic winter driving tips.
1. Go Easy on the Accelerator
Resist the urge to hit the gas when the light turns green. Easing down on the pedal maximizes tire performance by minimizing traction loss over slick roads. Be cautious, and drive below posted speed limits, but don’t become a hazard to others by driving too slowly.
2. Go Even Easier on the Brakes
Keep your winter braking style slow and steady. Leave plenty of room for coming to a complete stop. Otherwise, you risk slamming on the brakes and spinning out of control. Try to stay at least 10 seconds behind other cars.
3. Know What to Turn Off and On
Turn off cruise control when you’re driving on icy roads. If you suddenly hydroplane, the feature reacts by trying to accelerating the car, and that adds to dangerous wheel spin.
Turn on traction control if you haven’t installed snow tires yet. It can help you stay on the road under severe conditions, but it’s no substitute for a good set of snow tires. Once they’re on the car, turn off traction control.
4. Listen to Your Tires
Make sure snow tires are part of your winter auto service routine. Learn to listen to them. When you drive through snow, you should hear flops and thuds coming from the tires. If the noise suddenly stops, be very careful. The silence is often a sign that you’re driving over ice.
5. Don’t Put Off Winter Maintenance
Whether you do it yourself or take it in to the shop, make winter maintenance a part of your road safety strategies.
- Install snow tires, and check the brakes.
- Check the battery and spark plugs.
- Top off antifreeze, and inspect the freeze line.
- Make sure wipers are in good working condition.
We’re Always Here for You
You can’t always stay home when the roads get slick, so make sure your vehicle stays ready for winter driving. Our master mechanics are ready to help at our Waite Park, MN auto service center and six other Kennedy Transmission locations around the state. Regardless of the weather, we’re always here for you.