North Texas is known more for its hot temperatures rather than cold, but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience some rough winter weather every now and then. It happens quickly, and sometimes, unexpectedly, which makes it all the more dangerous.
When this rough weather is bound to happen, Color Customs Collision has you covered with these 5 winter weather driving tips to keep you and your family safe.
1. Plan Ahead
In North Texas, many drivers are unprepared for winter driving because of the rarity of a snow or ice storm. Be prepared ahead of time by making sure your car’s window defrosters are in good condition and keep your windshield wiper blades fresh. We recommend changing them every six months to a year, especially before the winter months. Keep warm clothes in your car during winter months in case of any emergency situations. We also recommend keeping an ice scraper and snow brush in your car for unexpected snow or ice.
2. Prepare For Your Drive
When winter conditions do come, use an ice scraper and a snow brush to clear all snow and scrape all ice from your vehicle’s windshield, windows, roof, hood, and any other areas that have snow or ice on them. This will reduce immediate risk of losing visibility, and drivers around you won’t be affected by snow blowing off of your vehicle. Make sure to plan the safest route to take to your destination and leave plenty of extra time for your trip. If your trip requires you to go over a bridge or overpass, use caution. Elevated roadways are the first to freeze when cold weather hits.
3. Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly
When on the road, apply your gas slowly to regain traction in your tires and to avoid skidding. Do not quickly cut around corners or be abrupt in your movements. Most winter weather crashes are caused by individuals who are driving quickly and recklessly on snow or ice-covered roads.
4. Know When to Brake and When to Steer
While driving, you may find yourself needing to take abrupt action and in winter conditions the decision to steer or brake can have very different outcomes. When traveling more than 25 mph and approaching an obstacle or collision, steering over braking to avoid a collision in winter-like conditions is recommended, as less distance is required to steer around an object than to brake to a stop.
However, sometimes steering is not an option. When you must brake, plan to stop as early as possible and always look three car spaces ahead of your vehicle to ensure you have time and space to stop safely.
5. If You Get Stuck…Stay Calm
If you do find yourself getting stuck in the snow or stranded on the side of the road, stay calm and stay with your vehicle. Your vehicle provides shelter and keeps you from facing the extreme conditions outside. Make sure to be visible to others by tying a brightly colored cloth around your vehicle’s antenna and keep your headlights on if possible. Keep your exhaust pipe cleared as you wait for help, as a clogged exhaust pipe can leak carbon monoxide gas into your vehicle, which can be deadly. Finally, stay warm and if needed, use the pre-packed clothes in your vehicle to keep you insulated.
Although our winter months are short, you can be easily prepared for the worst to come with these tips. If you live in or around Denton, TX and are in need of reliable collision repair, hail repair, or post-repair painting work, visit the family-owned and operated Color Custom Collision today.