Winter driving tips

Monthly safety tip from your Black Hawk College Safety Committee

It’s that time of year where snow falls and ice begins to form. With holiday celebrations right around the corner, here are some winter driving tips that may help keep you safe this year.

  • Never warm up your vehicle in an enclosed or small area, such as a garage.
  • Maintain your car. Check your battery, tire tread and antifreeze.
  • Check your windshield wipers. Make sure your windows provide proper visibility (you may need to scrap them for thicker frost).
  • Be sure you have no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated. Colder weather causes tire pressures to decrease.
  • In winter it’s always a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full as it helps keep your fuel line from freezing.
  • Avoid using your parking brake in winter conditions.
  • Always buckle up and use child safety seats properly. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an airbag.
  • Never use cruise control when snow or ice is present.
  • In winter conditions, the following distance you use should be farther away.  Accelerate and brake slowly to gain traction and avoid sliding. When braking, apply steady gradual pressure (threshold braking).
  • Always give yourself enough time to get places. Never be in a rush. Check the weather forecast as everything takes longer in winter conditions i.e. accelerating, turning and braking.
  • When traveling a long distance, let others know your route and arrival time and be sure you are familiar with the maps and directions to your location.
  • Avoid fatigue. Get plenty of rest before a trip and stop at least every three hours.
  • Have on hand – flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (such as flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and cell phone.
  • Stopped or stalled?  Stay with your car and don’t over exert yourself.  Put bright markers on antenna or windows.  If you run your car, clear the exhaust pipe and run the car just enough to stay warm.

Disclaimer: The tips provided are for information only to increase safety awareness. Black Hawk College does not accept any liability for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) that is provided. We make every effort to insure the integrity and validity of the data provided, but as always, check with your care provider before making any changes.

OSHA Safe Winter Driving