Although driving in winter weather should be avoided at all costs, it’s inevitable you will be forced to at some point this season. Don’t be caught off guard, prepare yourself with these helpful hints.
Be Prepared, check the forecast
and road conditions for the length of the trip, and don’t forget the return trip. Smartphones and the Internet make this easy, so plan ahead.
Pack your car for a worst case scenario, never be caught without the essentials
When venturing out in the winter time there are 3 things every motorist absolutely must have in their car at all times.
- Tow Chain– with the regular potential of black ice, especially on Massachusetts back roads, sliding off the road is always a possibility. Bring along a tow chain and make it easier for your car to be rescued.
- Sand or Cat Litter– Few people know cat litter is actually a great clumping agent and wonderful for getting out of a slippery situation. Use cat litter or sand under the tires to help gain traction. Keep a 2×2 wooden board in your trunk to slide under your slipping tires works well too!
- Blankets, Granola Bars, and a First Aid Kit– accidents are always a heightened possibility during the winter months, especially when coming home from a ski trip late at night. Protect you and your loved ones if you get stranded with blankets, food, and first aid, help could be hard to come by on those north Massachusetts back roads.
Check your Tire Pressure
Your tires must be properly inflated when driving in the winter. Full, firm tires can help reduce slipping and help your car find traction when starting to skid. Check your cars manual or your tires for proper tire pressure, the PSI can always be found on the sidewall of the tire. Having proper tire pressure is essential when driving in all seasons, but especially in snow and icy conditions.
Know How to Correct a Skid
Preventing a skid is key when driving in inclement weather. Don’t power up hills, change speed suddenly, break or turn abruptly, and always leave double the following space when driving in snow. Unfortunately when road conditions get poor skids are a scary reality, keep both hands on the wheel and turn into the skid. Once your car is sliding sideways gaining control is tough. Do not slam the breaks, especially if your car doesn’t have an Anti-Lock Braking System, slowly apply the brakes and pump them every few seconds to help gain traction.
We at Ski Bradford are really excited to see you this season and want everyone to get home safely. We would be devastated if we didn’t get to see you again, so follow these tips and come back up to see us!