Tag Archives: ice

Two silhouettes cross a street in front of a line of headlights in a nighttime snow storm.

Tips for Winter Driving on the Delmarva Peninsula

How can drivers stay safe while driving in ice and snow?

Winter has come early this year, and though fall is still fighting valiantly to fend it off, we know in the end it will be a losing battle. And so we must again accept the inevitable.

But while we can’t stop winter from coming, we can do our best to be prepared. Once the snow really starts to fall and the roads freeze over, how can one stay safe in Salisbury and the surrounding areas? Here follows a variety of helpful tips, with information courtesy of our good friends at the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration.

[ For more handy tips & tricks, check out our blog! ]

Prepare Your Vehicle

Before the season starts, (or as soon as possible), have your vehicle serviced. A service department should closely inspect your vehicle’s battery, cooling system, windshield wipers, defrosters, and tires. Also, fill up your wiper fluid reservoir with high quality no-freeze fluid.

When Driving:

  • As always, buckle up and ensure your passengers do so too.
  • If there’s a snow emergency, stay off the road if you can. If you can’t, give yourself plenty of extra time to reach your destination and drive with caution.
  • Don’t think you’re invincible because you have four-wheel drive; such vehicles are actually just as vulnerable to slipping on ice as those with two-wheel drive.
  • If you start to skid, don’t slam on your brakes. Take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction of the skid.
  • Give plenty of extra distance to other vehicles. Especially snowplows. This will provide you with the necessary extra stopping space.
  • Remember that bridges and ramps are the first to freeze, so be especially careful on these.
  • Never try passing a snowplow or salt truck. They don’t have great visibility, and something bad could result. It’s recommended drivers stay at least 25 feet (three car lengths) behind a snow emergency vehicle.
  • If you do get stranded, the safest place to wait for help is in your car. Just be careful not to run your vehicle for too long with the windows up or in an enclosed space. This is to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. For the same reason, clear your exhaust pipe of any snow and just run the engine sporadically; enough to stay warm.

Before Every Drive:

Before heading out into the Winter Dangerland, make sure your car is properly prepped for the drive; though we don’t have time to get into the details here, there are a variety of items you should have with you in your vehicle. Also make sure that all snow and ice is removed from your car before you go. This is in addition to the seasonal maintenance mentioned above.

10 Essentials To Have In Your Car During Winter

Driving during the wintertime can be very dangerous especially when the forecast calls for a large amount of snow or ice. You no longer only have to worry about where your keys are and if you have a full tank of gas but also the ice that must be scrapped from your windows, your tire pressure and traction, shoveling snow around your car and more. For these reasons we recommend the following list of objects to always keep in your car in case of emergency during the winter months.

 

A Snow Shovel

Always an essential item to have during snowy weather. Not only can a snow shovel help you dig your car out of a rough sport but it can also be used to get snow off of the roof and sides of your car. Remember leaving snow on the roof of your vehicle is very dangerous for it may come down and block your windshield while you are driving or it could fly backward into another driver’s windshield. Having a shovel with you can allow you to clean off or dig out your car whenever you may need.

 

An Ice Scraper

Just as snow settles on your vehicle so does Ice. Ice can cling to your windows as well as your front and rear windshield making it nearly impossible to see. Having an ice scraper can allow you to easily scrape away ice for full visibility.

 

Jumper Cables

Cold weather is very tough on your vehicle and especially your battery. It’s important to have jumper cables with you at all times so it can bring your car back to life in case of an emergency.

 

Flashlight

When I say a flashlight I DO NOT mean your smartphone. A cell phone battery can die or you may need the remaining battery power of a phone to call for help. It’s important to have a actual flashlight with you so you can see clearly when changing a tire or using jumping cables without wastefully utilizing other resources.

 

Empty Gas Can

You should not keep gas in your car but an empty gas can could save you from the trouble and expense of a tow. If you run out of gas and have an empty gas can in your car you can walk to the nearest gas station and get the gallon of gas you will need to either get to the gas station in your vehicle or to a different safe location.

 

Spare Tire

Bald tires are extremely dangerous during the winter months. You should always get a set of all season or snow tires before driving in any kind of storm and having a spare is essential.

 

Air Compressor

Cold air causes a dramatic loss of tire pressure. It’s important to maintain your tires and give them more air when need be. An air compressor makes the job simple and easy to both detect the tires current pressure and give any extra air it may require. This simple tool can prevent you from major catastrophe such as a flat tire during harsh weather.

 

First Aid Kit

No matter what the season it is always important to have a first aid kit on hand. Safety first is very important for your vehicle and yourself.

 

Small Tool Kit

You don’t have to be a mechanic to know how to use basic tools to change a tire or to perform minor repairs. Investing in a basic tool kit can save you a major headache should a problem occur especially in the winter season.

 

Kitty Litter

It sounds crazy but during winter weather it can be very helpful to keep some kitty litter hidden in your car. When you are in one of those unfortunate situations where you are stuck in the snow and your tires keep turning but your car isn’t going anywhere Kitty Litter can save the day! Spread the kitty litter underneath your tires to give them added traction and you will be able to get your vehicle unstuck.