Winter Driving

by Christie Stock, president, Discount Tire

Wintertime brings the holiday season. It’s time to be with family, enjoy the warmth of indoors and count our blessings. However, wintertime also brings hazardous driving conditions such as ice, snow, rain and sleet, so it’s vital we know how to conduct ourselves on the roads. We always advise people to have good winter tires on their vehicle in addition to implementing proper behavior while driving. Here are a few important tips:

  • Before setting out on the road, plan your route by checking road conditions. If they are particularly bad, you may want to avoid traveling that day.
  • Check your fluids and tire pressure and clear windshield and windows of any ice and snow.
  • Once on the road, SLOW DOWN. Allow yourself more time to get where you are going. Always maintain a good following distance (double the distance than on dry roads).
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Before turning, slow down while traveling in a straight line. While turning, maintain a slow, regular speed and don’t make any sudden wheel movements.
  • If you do begin to spin, stay calm. To regain control, steer in the opposite direction of the spin.
  • If your wheels lock and slide, release the brake pedal to recover traction then slowly brake again.
  • Brake earlier than you would on dry roads.
  • Avoid or reduce changing lanes on slush-filled roads.
  • Get a set of snow chains. They should be used on packed snow and are often required for canyon driving.

It’s also advisable to have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle such as water, blankets, a shovel, salt or a small piece of carpet, jumper cables, ice scraper, flashlight, flairs and a first-aid kit. Stay safe and enjoy the upcoming holiday season.

For more winter driving tips, visit