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Driving Safe In the Snow

This past week we experienced an intense snowstorm. With temperatures dropping into the negatives going outside was extremely dangerous. Roads were being iced over and not melting the next day. Many people had to stay inside or call out of work. For some, this was a minor inconvenience that gave them time to relax and prepare for the upcoming holiday.

However, for businesses, big and small, this was a major setback.

With unsafe driving conditions, houses could not receive their inventory, pushing back everything else.

Thankfully In the past 3 days, it seems to have warmed up. But what are we going to do if we see another sudden drop?

Well, we can be prepared to make the trips, so long as the conditions are manageable.

There are a few things to remember when driving in cold weather. In this article, we will be discussing ways to remain safe on the road. These tips will be useful whether you're driving a small personal vehicle or a large transport vehicle.

1) Pre-check your vehicle.

This is important to do for both your safety and the safety of other drivers. You should be cautious with debris that has formed such as icicles and large chunks of compacted snow. This can obscure your vision and that of other drivers.

To avoid having to make frequent stops make sure to top up windshield washing fluid with a strong antifreeze concentration. This will help prevent the windows from freezing over.

Finally, the most important part is your tires. As every car/ vehicle owner should know, you need to switch your tires out for winter ones. Whether you do it yourself or need to go to a shop, this step should be done before the cold weather even hits. Before you leave make sure your tires have the correct air pressure and legal tread depth (1.6mm).

2) Pack for the journey, and prepare to drive

Once you've completed a safety Pre-check, heat your engine. When it gets extremely cold you'll have a few minutes to pack the essentials. Even if it's a short drive, when less traveled roads are iced over, you'll need to prepare for the worst.

To prepare for a potential breakdown pack an emergency kit of food, drinks, a torch, and extra clothing. It's also handy to have a high visibility vest, warning triangle, and first aid kit. That way, if you crash or find yourself in a place during heavy snow, passing vehicles or emergency responders can better locate you.

And don't forget your sunglasses! During the day, the white snow and lower sun can reflect into your eyes suddenly. Have a pair handy just in case.

3) Driving on snowy roads.

This part is the most essential.

The overall rule is that all controls on your vehicle should be operated slowly and smoothly. Even if you're running an hour behind, it's better to get there alive.

Starting, make sure your full tank is relatively full (more than 80%), that way you won't need to make frequent stops.

Make sure that when accelerating and decelerating you are using low revs to shift gears. Keep your speed a little ways below the speed limit so you have a chance to be aware of potential hazards.

If using a manually operated you will of course have to be even more attentive. To reduce the chances of tire slipping use the second gear instead of the first.

You should also maintain a greater breaking distance when taking a turn to begin breaking before you start to turn your steering wheel and try to avoid breaking on inclines and declines unless necessary.

And finally, if your car loses grip on something like a turn or you begin to skid; try not to panic. For both of these situations, you'll want to ease off the accelerator and steer in the direction you're going. Fighting against the momentum can do immediate damage to your car which will make it much harder to control.

Now, of course, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when driving in anything other than perfect conditions. At the same time, these are only a few tips for driving in cold. Our drivers at Guero Pallets are trained to handle the most challenging conditions. We want to make sure you receive your order as fast and safely as possible.

To learn more quick tips check out some of our other advice articles in the recommended section below.

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