Winter Driving Tips

Yellow road sign with car slipping and text Winter Driving
  • Let the engine warm up. During cold, winter weather newer-model cars can easily be put in gear and driven as soon as they’re started, but that doesn’t necessarily mean skipping the warm-up entirely.
  • Pay attention to weather reports on the television or radio. Allow time in your schedule for bad weather and/or traffic delays. Visit Ohio Department of Transportation’s for current traffic information such as weather-related road conditions, road closures and traffic accidents.
  • Keep your windows clear of snow and ice. Remember to brush off the head, tail and brake lights, too.
  • If you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights. It’s Ohio law. Failing to do so is a secondary offense. Click here to read ORC 4513.03.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel line freeze-up. Fill your gas tank completely full before parking your car for lengthy periods.
  • Leave ample stopping time between you and the driver in front of you. Braking distance can be up to nine times greater on snowy, icy surfaces than on dry roads.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), be sure to
  • STOMP firmly on the brake pedal
  • STAY on the brakes – do not pump the brakes
  • STEER where you want the vehicle to go
  • Gently pump Non-ABS brakes to stop the vehicle. Take any corrective action gradually. You will need to maintain full control of the vehicle. Refer to the vehicle operations manual for proper methods to correct skids.
  • During winter travel, it is best to supply those at your destination with the following information: Your cell phone number, departure time, travel route, and anticipated time of arrival.
  • Lock your vehicle, even in bad weather. To prevent door and trunk locks from freezing, lubricate the locks with a silicone spray or door-lock lubricant. If they’re already frozen, use a lock antifreeze product to thaw them. Do not pour hot water on the locks – they will refreeze.
  • Drive with extreme caution on bridges and overpasses during freezing temperatures. Because bridge temperatures can be 5-6 degrees colder than roadways, they can become slick and icy before roads

For more information Click Here to visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness on Winter Vehicle Safety Tips