Winter Driving Tips from AAA

Snow, ice, rain, and other hazards make driving in winter a challenge. Here are some tips to help keep you safe.

Be a smart winter driver We’re in the time of year when rains bring out the green, snow makes hills gleam—and the weather sometimes obscures your view, coats the road with ice, and presents other hazards that make winter driving a challenge. It’s a good time to review and follow these tips from AAA:

  • Schedule a seasonal checkup to ensure that your car is ready for winter driving.
  • Match your speed to the prevailing visibility, traffic, and road conditions. Stay alert for challenging situations.
  • Reduce your speed to a third of your normal pace in fog, rain, snow, or high winds, and keep your low beams on.
  • Give the car ahead of you extra space in sloppy weather. Stay at least one car length behind it for every 10 miles per hour on your speedometer, and anticipate turns and possible stops.
  • Plan ahead by telling friends and family your route and ETA for a winter road trip. Listen to weather reports; when they predict especially heavy weather, delay your trip.
  • Carry an emergency kit with supplies including blankets, food, and water to comfort you—and possibly save you—if you’re delayed or stranded in a snowstorm.

Check out more winter car care and driving tips by visiting Take a look at New Motoring Laws, including dozens of bills related to driving that became law in 2010. You can find the Digest of Changes in the California Vehicle Code—and also learn about transportation policy issues that may affect you—at


This article was first published in January 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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