Of Course, you deserve that safe winter road trip, and you don’t just get it when you don’t have a plan. There are things you ought to fulfil even as you prepare for a safe winter trip. Remember that winter is characterized by many hazards such as snow, ice, and sleet and you need to be brilliant in dealing with it when you meet them on the route. Do not turn on your car ignition key if you do not plan how you will handle such issues.
It is worth placing a disclaimer that not all winter trips expose you to such hassles. Some are safe, and you won’t have to worry. But the article focuses on the preparedness towards handling the cases that are often common during the winter seasons. In the news, you may have read about a thousand people who get stranded on the way due to the emergence of storms!
It has been found that many drivers do not know what they should do when they find themselves in such situations. Such incidences should not be a reason to cancel a winter trip! You instead learn the tips that will make things easier for you during the winter trips. The theme here is driving during winter, and we shall consider 11 tips that will make things work out properly for you.
1. Bring winter safety essentials
First, we begin with the winter essentials, and the question that we should be asking ourselves is what winter essentials we should carry? The winter essentials are necessary for your safety and peace of mind so that you don’t end up worrying about the Unknown. The snow brush and the ice scraper are the lead winter essentials you must never miss in your car. Experts also recommend keeping a snow shovel and abrasive materials on your vehicle to be in a better position if you meet ice snow or sleep by the roadside.
You may also need jumper cables, A flashlight, and emergency flares to ensure that you don’t get scared during winter trips when you meet the everyday things. What you put on is also vital, and you should be careful about the clothes you put on and the ones you carry for exchanging during the winter trip. Stowing enough clothing in your car and you may also want to keep the blanket and a sleeping bag. Note that winter is cold and you will do well when you have extra sleeping layers in case it gets d extremely cold during the late night.
2. Pack a DIY car emergency kit
When you have all the winter-specific items set on your car, you must not forget to pack the DIY car emergency kit. Your vehicle should have a well-packed emergency kit before you put yourself behind the wheel because it will determine if you have peace during your trip or not. In your car emergency kit, you should include items such s the cell phone charger, a flashlight with as many batteries as possible, enough drinking water, a first aid kit, and extra snacks. You should also pack food that can last for a few more days apart from the exact amount you set for the specific days you will be away.
If you are taking your pet for a winter trip, be sure to have the pet food and other winter pet essentials well set in the car so that your pet will also have comfort just like you.
3. Prepare your car for winter
Your car should also be ready to face the harsh winter conditions. It implies that you should better prepare to fit your vehicle for a winter experience. Check all corners of your car to be confident that they are in good condition. If you are not sure about the areas you should be checking, then you may have to hire an expert who will do a thorough check and servicing before you set off for a winter trip.
While your expert is checking and servicing your car, you should watch it to ensure that the batteries, tires, headlights, and brake lights are working correctly. You need to be sure instead of relying on the expertise word! You also need to ensure that the wiper blades and other critical parts are well set and tested for the winter trip.
4. Check your tires
A tire is an essential part of the car, and it determines if your road trip will be safe. Setting off without checking the tires is a life-threatening expedition that must never occur to you. Remember, these are the only parts of your car that will be touching the road. Therefore, you should ensure that they are in good condition and offer a safe grip so that you don’t end up sliding off the road. Begin by checking the tread depth. If the tread depth is not big enough, then you may have to consider a new tire altogether rather than risking it with your life.
The tire pressure is another consideration that comes next when checking the efficiency of the tires. Note that the tire pressure often drops during the cold winter seasons. You should routinely check ad adjust the tire pressure to the appropriate level for a winter road trip. You can check the recommended pressure in the driver’s side door jamb.
5. Hit the car wash
How often do you wash your car? Yes, if you are the person that takes three days before cleaning the car, then you don’t have e to even think about when you want to go for a winter trip. Head straight to a car wash because e you need this. Car cleaning is essential, especially for cars that will have advanced features relying on sensors and cameras. The lead areas you should focus on when cleaning are the cameras, windscreen, windshield, front bumper areas, and headlamps. It would be best to clean the front grill, and other ensures.
On the rear parts of your car, ensure that the camera lens and the rear bumpers are clean allowed efficiency while en route.
6. Download the right apps
Apps are prudent, especially in this digital era, but we are talking about the apps that will make your winter trip convenient. There are many apps that you can think of, but we must mention the best apps that will make your road trip quite memorable. The few options that the article has chosen for you include:
Weather Bug: There are lots of weather apps that you will have to choose from in the Google play store. You only need an app. that will provide extended range forecasts and emergency weather alerts because such situations characterize winter. Your current GPS will determine the notifications that the apps will be giving you. Therefore, you should choose the best weather apps that will do the work for you. You need to get up-to-date information, and consequently, a GPS-based weather app will be vital.
Gas Buddy: another app you must load on your phone is the gas buddy. The gas buddy will help you quickly find the cheapest gas station along the route. You will also use it to find the closest gas station if you risk running short of gas in your car.
The Charging Hub: we currently have electric cars in our midst, and you will need to know the charge points for your vehicle. You need to locate the nearby charging locations, and the charging hub will do it for you.
Waze: Waze is a direction app that will help you get real-time crowd-sourced locations and the hazardous conditions you may experience on the way.
Google Maps: Google Maps is a great tool that you must never miss on your phone because it allows you to download locations that you can use even when you are offline. It gets easier to get to a specific place even when you lose the phone signal.
Trip Whistle: Trip Whistle happens to be one of the favorite travel companions because of what it can do for travelers. It maps your location, allowing the user to send or text the location gaps coordinates quickly.
Hotel Tonight: Finally, hotel tonight comes last on our list because we are sure you may need a place close to your location to spend a night. It is a last-minute booking app that allows you to book a room and choose the best prices that benefit your budget.
7. Read the manual
Another tip that will ensure the safety of your winter trip is reading the manual. Many drivers t do not know what the manual is, and they might have never seen it since the first day they bought the car. Checking the safety manual is prudent before heading out for a road trip.
Review the sections of your owner’s manual so that you get the information about the anti-lock brakes, the traction control, and the four or well-wheeled drive information. It is better to have better knowledge about the features of your car than just driving blindly, not knowing the safety features that exist in your vehicle.
8. Skip cruise control
It would be best to skip the cruise control during the winter trip. Such features might be pretty tempting to use, but we recommend cutting them during the winter trip because it may not be helpful. Note that it is winter, and you expect the frequency of stops to increase. You should ensure that you are at a safe distance, and therefore it may need manual control to be safe. Cruise control may take you so close to the car ahead of you, and you might be prone to accidents.
When travelling avoids accelerations, aggressive steering, and braking, it may increase the chances of accidents. The goal here is to be safe, and you only need to exercise patience during the winter road trip.
9. Fill up the gas tank and other car essentials
It would help if you did not forget to fill up the gas tank because it is winter, and your car will be consuming more fuel due to frequent braking and stops.
You should expect many delays on the way, and you should not end up with surprise stops miles away from the gas station. You should also charge other accessories that need energy, such as cell phones and other accessories. The windshield washer fluid should also be well filled with an antifreeze solution so that you don’t compromise with the visibility on the road.
10. Know what to do if you start to skid
Driving in winter means that you will step on ice or sleep, and you may end up skidding—the people who have been operating pretty much understand what to do when they encounter such cases. Of Course, it is such a frightening experience for beginners to feel it and sense the danger as the car skids to a dangerous position! It is scary, but of Course, you should hold on to courage because you have to do it. It may cause your heart to pump harder, but be courageous enough to return the satiation to its normal position.
11. Dig out and stay warm while you wait for help
Now, in some extreme cases, you may end up stuck on ice! Do not worry if you encounter this. Make yourself comfortable and warm as you dig in. All you need to do is dig clear the snow at the base of your car around the exhaust pipe, and you should intermittently run the vehicle to ensure that the car interior remains warm. Open the window to bring in the fresh air, but not so widely, lest the dew begins forming inside your car.
Extreme winter conditions should not be a reason to cancel the road trip! You can still have fun when you know exactly what you need to do at the right time.