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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Driving in Snowy Weather
Wintertime can be a beautiful season, but it comes with its unique challenges for drivers. When we have new-to-Colorado customers in at the shop, we often get asked about our driving Do’s and Don’ts.
We have quite a few blogs on the do’s of driving in the winter (such as this one on driving tips for Aurora residents and this one for new Colorado residents), but less on what not to do. As expert auto technicians at Aurora AutoPros, CO, we are thrilled to share some valuable insights to help you navigate the challenges of driving in snowy weather.
So, let’s examine the seven common mistakes you should avoid to ensure a safe and smooth journey through our winter wonderland!
1. Neglecting Winter Maintenance
Before we dive into the driving aspect, let's discuss the importance of winter maintenance. Your vehicle is your trusty companion through thick and thin, and it deserves some extra care during the colder months.
Regularly check your antifreeze levels, tire pressure, and battery health. Especially if you’re traveling during a storm, you need to ensure that your vehicle isn’t prone to an impending breakdown.
2. Insufficient Tire Tread Depth
Your tires are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the slippery winter roads. In snowy conditions, proper traction is crucial for maintaining control. So, make sure your tires have enough tread depth, and consider investing in snow tires for improved performance. We can help with tire rotations and balancing here at Aurora AutoPros.
3. Overlooking the Importance of Slow and Steady
Driving safety doesn’t have to be complex: one of the most overlooked tips is to go slow and steady! One of drivers' most common mistakes in snowy weather is underestimating the value of slow and steady driving.
Rapid acceleration and sudden braking can lead to skidding and loss of control. Be patient and gentle on the pedals, and maintain a safe trailing distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Remember, you want to arrive to your destination. Better late than never! (And nothing makes you more late than sliding out or getting in an accident, mind you!) Let the speed racers go around you and stay with a comfortable speed.
4. Disregarding Visibility
Winter weather often means reduced visibility due to snow, sleet, and fog. Not clearing all windows, mirrors, and lights before hitting the road is a grave mistake. We get it–sometimes, you’ve got somewhere to be, your kids are late for school, or you’ve lost your ice-scraper.
Take a breath, pause, and get that car cleared off. Invest in quality windshield wipers, carry an ice scraper, and ensure all lights function correctly to maximize visibility. Otherwise, snow flying off your vehicle or down onto the windshield from the roof can cause trouble for you or other drivers.
5. Failing to Use Proper Lights
In snowy conditions, it's not only crucial to see but also to be seen. Turn on your headlights to increase visibility for yourself and other drivers. This simple step makes your vehicle more noticeable, reduces the risk of collisions, and prevents accidents.
6. Overconfidence in All-Wheel Drive
While all-wheel drive (AWD) can provide enhanced traction, it doesn't make your vehicle invincible in snowy conditions. AWD can help you get moving, but you will need help to stop. Always combine AWD with cautious driving practices for the best results.
7. Ignoring the Braking Techniques
Proper braking is key to navigating snowy roads safely. Instead of slamming on the brakes, practice gentle and progressive braking to avoid skidding. If your vehicle is ABS (anti-lock braking system) enabled, let it do its job by maintaining steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Give Us A Visit For Your Winter Car Care Needs!
If you need assistance or want to ensure your vehicle is winter-ready, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with us at Aurora AutoPros, CO. Also, we invite you to follow us on Facebook and our social media channels and see what engaging, entertaining, educational, and fun things we share with our community.Your safety is our priority, and we're here to keep you confidently cruising through the snow-covered streets. Stay safe and drive responsibly!