5 Tips for Driving in the Winter

In Utah Valley, winter weather can turn your daily commute into an icy obstacle course. These tips can help you stay safe if you take to the road in the cold.

Winterize Early

Check your car before the weather changes. Test your battery, antifreeze, windshield wipers and fluid, headlights and hazards, heater and defroster, brakes, tire pressure, and tire tread.

Check Roads and Weather

You can use the UDOT website to find out if the roads are safe to drive on: https://www.udot.utah.gov/main/f?p=100:6:0::::V,T:,1

Plan Ahead

Leave plenty of time for yourself  to get to where you’re going. If you can wait for better weather, you should. And if there’s a route that lets you avoid bridges, ramps, and overpasses, take it.

Slow Down, Stay Behind

Reduce your speed significantly and don’t tailgate other people. If there’s ice on the road, you’ll need three times as much space to stop. If you do start to skid, steer in the direction of the skid.

Keep an Emergency Kit

If you get stuck the best thing to do is to stay in your car. Keep a fully charged cell phone, charger, and a hand-crank or battery-operated radio handy. There are plenty of car kits you can buy that include these things. It can also help to have jumper cables, a spare tire, flares, blankets, a flashlight and batteries, cat litter or sand for traction, food and water, a first-aid kit, and matches.