Las Vegas is not known for it’s cold weather conditions. In fact, it is pretty much the exact opposite. But with Mt. Charleston and other snowy mountains a few miles north from us as we head for skiing and snowboarding trips, it is important to know the safe way to drive in lower temperatures. Often, our cars are not equipped with the proper snow tires so this blog highlights 10 tips for driving in winter months to stay safe.
1. Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen. Take into account that braking hard could lead to sliding and hitting the car that is in front of you.
2. Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions. In adverse conditions, you want as much control of your car as possible.
3. Check the tread on your tires. Tires are the most important component of any car. The recommended minimum tread depth is 3mm. If your tires are balding, it could make the roads extra slippery and nearly impossible to navigate on snow or ice.
4. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. Ice is not easily seen, so driving with your lights on will be helpful.
5. Never heat up your car for a long period of time in an enclosed area, such as a garage or if snow covers or in your exhaust pipe. The dangers of carbon monoxide are real and can lead to death. If you are stuck and waiting for help, make sure to open your window a bit to ensure you are not breathing in these toxins.
6. Avoid any distractions. Avoid your phone and the radio. Both of your hands should be on the steering wheel because you want to have as much control of your car as possible.
7. Before taking off on any winter journey, make sure your windshield wipers have the correct amount of fluid and that they are working properly. Also the wiper fluid needs to have a mixture of antifreeze or it will render your spray unusable. On these dirty snow/sand covered roads your wiper fluids working is absolutely essential.
8. Going up an icy hill? Try to avoid braking. Stopping on slippery hills can cause your car to slide backwards where it can either hit a car behind you or you can lose control of your car putting yourself in a very dangerous situation. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before trying to go up a hill or better yet avoid it altogether.
9. Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This helps ensure you have a source of heat if you are stuck or stranded.
10. Always, ALWAYS wear your seat belt. Seat belts help save lives every day and driving on icy roads can lead to skidding and sliding off the road.
If someone did not read this blog and collided with your car in the winter months call Core Rehab (702)577-1962 or go to our website www.corerehab.info to figure out your next move.