Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter weather can increase the risks involved in operating a motor vehicle. The safety concerns from everyday driving are enhanced to greater levels during inclement weather. There are numerous factors to consider when operating a motor vehicle and the added stress of wet or icy roads can leave some motorists searching for advice.
Preparing for Winter Weather
  • If snow or ice is in the forecast, always attempt to have a full tank of gasoline. In addition to the added weight to your vehicle, the extra fuel might come in handy if you become delayed in traffic or if you become stranded.
  • Allow yourself extra time when preparing to leave for work or other destinations. A few extra minutes could be useful if you encounter delays from auto accidents, traffic jams, or other weather-related incidents.
Driving in Winter Weather
  • Always clean off your vehicle before operation. Lack of visibility from poorly cleaned windows is dangerous when coupled with inclement weather. Always allow your car to warm up and keep in mind additional snow or ice on the roof, hood, or trunk of your vehicle, as it could become loose in transit. The sudden blinding by an airborne sheet of snow or ice can cause visibility issues for you or another motorist.
  • Always wear your safety belt. The use of safety belts is proven to save lives. Set the right example for your passengers and always wear your safety belt. Encourage your passengers to wear their safety belts. Child restraint devices, such as infant carriers, safety seats, and booster seats are always recommended. Child Restraint & Seat Belt Laws
  • Icy or wet roads can decrease your needed stopping times when braking. A four to six second following rule is generally accepted; however, on wet or icy roads, increasing this to a minimum of eight second following time would be well worth the effort.
Safe driving is the responsibility of each driver on the roadway. If each of us took the time to
properly prepare and implement even a few of these tips, our highways would be a much safer place to travel.
Virginia Department of Transportation: Winter Driving Tips