Winter driving tips from the NHTSA

December 28th, 2015 by

winter driving

NHTSA tips for winter driving

We all knew that the lack of snow this winter wasn’t going to last. However, everyone should be allowed to file a complaint for all of it falling at once in one storm, like is happening in many areas. Being able to drive safely in snowy and slippery conditions is a skill we need to have under our caps every year, but sometimes those skills get rusty and it can take a while to get back in the groove. Toyota of Naperville wants everyone to remain as safe as possible on the roads this winter. In order to give people the best possible information, we found recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, tips for winter driving.

Be prepared before you leave

Hopefully, you have already taken advantage of the winter vehicle inspection specials available at Toyota of Naperville. One of the most important components to worry about is your vehicle’s battery. A quick and complimentary stop at the Toyota of Naperville Service Department can give you all the information you need in this regard.

During the winter driving season, it is important to pay attention to weather forecasts, according to the NHTSA. In addition to the latest cat videos, social media can be a great tool to prepare for winter driving. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever, keep an eye out for people that have already been traveling. This can be a great place to find updates about road conditions or traffic accidents that are going to hinder your efforts in getting home. Also, many police departments and sheriff’s offices are becoming more tech friendly and are using social media platforms to get news out to people about road conditions.

Local law enforcement agencies on Twitter

  • Naperville Police Department: @NapervillePD
  • Aurora Police Department: @AuroraPoliceIL
  • Plainfield Police Department: @PlainfieldILPD
  • Bolingbrook Police Department: @BolingbrookPD
  • Oswego Police Department: @oswegopolice
  • Joliet Police Department: @JolietPolice
  • DuPage Country Sheriff’s Office: @ProtectDuPage
  • Illinois State Police: @ILStatePolice

winter driving

What you should do before you travel in a storm

  • If possible, don’t travel: Driving in these conditions can be dangerous, use your best judgement.
  • Plan your route: Even if you take the same way home everyday, blockages can occur. Make sure you are comfortable with alternate routes and keep monitoring weather and traffic updates as go you go.
  • Let someone know when you’re leaving: If you are diving home, try to let someone know what time you expect to arrive and what route you are taking. If help needs to be sent, the area can be narrowed down.
  • Be prepared with the basics: The NHTSA recommends having a shovel, ice scraper with brush, kitty litter for traction as well as jumper cables, flashlight and emergency markers in your car at all times.
  • Make sure your phone is charged: Phone batteries have a habit of dying at the worst time. Getting stuck or going in the ditch will be one of those times.

What to do while driving in snow

  • Go slow: Driving too fast for conditions is the number one cause for people losing control while driving.
  • Use traction control properly: All- or four-wheel drive is not magic. It will not make you stop any faster or make your vehicle more nimble at speed. Again, go slow.
  • Concentrate: It’s against the law to text and drive on nice days. This should be especially avoided while dealing with a winter storm while on the road.

What if you get stuck

  • Stay put: In the event your car should get stuck, don’t leave the vehicle. You are always much safer in the car as well as easier to find.
  • Be visible: Turn on your dome lights, emergency flasher, put out flares or markers.
  • Stay Warm: If you are going to be waiting for a tow truck, just run the car enough to stay warm. It’s very important to make sure the tail pipe of the car is clear. A clogged tail pipe can cause exhaust fumes to back up in the car, presenting a risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Once everything is shoveled or plowed out, please make an appointment with the Toyota of Naperville Service Department for that winter inspection if you haven’t done so already.

Posted in Tips & Tricks