Florida drivers are lucky. In addition to beautiful weather and lots of natural beauty, drivers from Florida do not usually need to worry about heavy snow and ice when driving. However, during the fall and winter many Florida residents leave the state to visit friends and family in other, colder climates. In some parts of the country, snow has already arrived. Florida drivers can be less used to winter weather driving and in bad weather, this lack of experience can mean car collisions, pedestrian accidents, and personal injury. Here’s how to drive safely when you are out of state and dealing with winter weather:
1) Take winter weather training courses where possible. If you have a long trip in winter weather ahead of you and you have never driven in the winter before, a refresher course is a good idea. An experienced driver trainer can show you how to deal with white-out conditions, black ice, and other serious dangers.
2) Get good tires. If you will be driving in areas where there is a lot of snow and ice, consider studded tires. Studded tires offer much better traction on snow and even ice and can help prevent you from slipping. Even if you will be driving in somewhat snowy conditions, get winter tires that offer much better traction than all-season or regular summer tires. Winter tires will help you brake and maintain control of your car.
3) Use an all-wheel-drive vehicle where possible. If you are renting or you have multiple cars and therefore have a choice, drive an All-wheel car in winter weather. This sort of car can help you get out of snowy, slippery areas more effectively and can reduce your chances of getting stuck in the snow.
4) Keep a winter kit in your car. Your car kit should include a shovel (for digging out your car), a bag of new kitty litter (for providing traction on ice), snow salt (for melting snow and ice around your tires), jumper cables (in case your car stalls), and an emergency kit that includes first aid, blankets, water, warm clothes, and flares or flashlights in case you get stuck or are in a car accident. You may also want to have an emergency tow kit in your car. These kits can help you get out of a ditch or icy spot without the aid of a tow truck. They are often sold in auto supply stores.
5) Check the weather often. If you need to go out of state on a business trip or a family trip, check the weather leading up to your car trip. If the weather is very bad, consider delaying or postponing your trip. In the event that this is not possible, give yourself lots of extra time. The best tip for winter driving is to slow down so that you can stop on time if you have to.