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Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Heading out in wind, rain, fog, or snow? A few easy tips will help you steer clear of trouble. 

Jeep on wet road approaches with headlights on as sun streams through trees, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Axel Brunst/Tandem Stock
Photo caption
Be careful when driving on slick, wet roads in winter.

GET YOUR CAR IN SHAPE Bring your vehicle to any AAA Approved Auto Repair shop for a bumper-to-bumper inspection. Make sure windshield wipers work well, headlights are clean, and both tire pressure and tread are up to par.

BE PREPARED Before a road trip, take stock of your gear. You’ll want a fully charged cell phone on hand, plus a spare tire and an emergency roadside kit that includes blankets, jumper cables, water, snacks, flares, a flashlight, and first-aid supplies. Check weather conditions before you leave, and plot the safest route to your destination—then share it with a friend.

BEWARE WET ROADS Remember that stopping distances can more than double in slick conditions. Leave extra room behind other vehicles and allow more time to brake. When driving in rain, keep headlights on during the day and avoid passing through large puddles of standing water, which could be deeper than they appear.

MIND THE FOG AND WIND In foggy conditions, use low-beam lights; high beams will increase glare. During strong winds, maintain a firm grip on the wheel and watch for tree limbs and other debris that could blow into your path. Keep an eye on larger vehicles, which can be buffeted off course by high winds.

This article was first published in Winter 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

Let AAA test your battery and, if necessary, replace it before you're stuck in the cold.