Survival tips for winter driving
Now that winter is upon us,please be aware of salting and snow plow trucks. Be mindful of on-street parking: If you park in the same spot every night, itwill not be plowed as often if you found an alternative parking spot. Also, many streets are narrow and plows willhave difficulty plowing if there are cars on both sides of the street. In some instances, plows will not be able togo through.
PREVENT ICY WINDOWS
If possible, park your carfacing east, so the morning sun will help defrost your windshield. It will saveyou a few extra, bone-chilling minutes otherwise spent scraping. If thatdoesn’t work, get a spray bottle and mix 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water. Sprayit onto the windshield to prevent the ice from forming. You could also get a piece of cardboard, cutto the size of your windshield, and put it on overnight. It will prevent theglass from icing over.
KEEP THE WIPERS CLEAR OF AN ICYWINDSHIELD
Lift the windshield wipersovernight. That way they won’t freeze to the windshield along with all of theice.
EXAMINE THE CONDITIONS
If you park in a wet area inthe middle of the day, be aware that the water could easily freeze again by thetime you return to your car hours later. Try to find a parking spot that isnice and dry; if the only option is to park in a puddle, sprinkle some saltaround your car to ensure that you’ll be able to get back in and drive awaysafely.
PREVENT FROST BUILD-UP ANDWINDOWS FROM FOGGING
Fill a stocking full ofclean kitty litter and place it our your dash to absorb humidity or run the airconditioner to take the humidity out of the air.
KEEP SNOW REMOVAL ITEMS IN THECAR
You never know when your carmight get snowed in. Keep a scraper, a snow brush, and a shovel in thecar. And always keep an extra set ofmittens, hat, scarf, socks and a blanket in the car for emergencies.
KEEP YOUR BATTERY AND CHARGINGSYSTEM IN TOP SHAPE
Cold weather can reduce abattery capacity by more than one-third, so be sure you have the battery,alternator and charging system in tiptop shape.
MAINTAIN YOUR WINDSHIELDWASHER SYSTEM
Keep the fluids filled andnew wipers on the blades, as you’ll undoubtedly be using them often to keep thesnow, slush and salt off the window.
DRIVE AND BRAKE SLOWLY
Avoid rapid acceleration anddeceleration. Slow and steady wins therace. Accelerate slowly to gain traction on snowy roads, and a slowdeceleration will avoid sliding. It takes longer to brake and speed up on snowyroads, so budget your time accordingly.
GET A FEEL FOR YOUR BRAKES
As you’re driving in thewintery conditions, apply the brakes once or twice when you’re alone on theroad so you can test the braking conditions. You’ll get a good feel for howfast you can truly travel.
AVOID THE SPIN
Whether you’re moving from adead stop, or driving up a hill, don’t spin your wheels and slam on the gaspedal. You’ll get nowhere fast.
WALKERS TAKE NOTE
When walking make eyecontact with an approaching driver. Stop if you don’t think the driver has seenyou. Wear boots or shoes with nonslipsoles and good ankle support. If necessary, carry your work shoes with you andchange inside. Snow muffles enginesounds; don’t rely solely on hearing to know if a vehicle is coming. Electricand hybrid vehicles are especially quiet.
Source: City of Madison