Be Prepared for Winter Driving

Safe winter driving tips

Plan Now

Winter is coming soon. Sure, we have climate change making it arrive a bit later than it used to, but computer models are already predicting an extremely snowy and cold winter all across the Midwest.

Almost 50 million people (yes, about one-sixth of the entire country!) traveled during the recent Thanksgiving Holidays. Fortunately, for most of them, it was smooth sailing and relatively good weather. Many of those people will be driving to or from Grandma’s House for the Christmas Holidays too! That’s a lot of traffic on the road. However, inevitably, whenever you have to be somewhere in your car, you will run into either traffic, car trouble, or road closures to make things challenging.

Expect this and be ready for it by following these basic suggestions for winter driving.

Be Ready for the Worst Case Scenario

Assume that things will go less than smoothly or as well as you had hoped they would.

Build in extra time for traffic, lane closures, weather, or car trouble. Bring things with you to help you in case something does go wrong.

Get a Check-Up… For Your Car

It goes without saying that if you decide to run a marathon, you should get a full physical beforehand. Well, why wouldn’t you get your car checked out prior to embarking on a long trip? Are you sure you want to save that money only to spend many times what a simple tune-up and check-up would cost in aggravation, time wasted, towing, and repair bills out on the road?

Bring your vehicle in to a trusted local shop and ask them to inspect the tires to verify they are in good shape and properly inflated, ensure the fluids and belts are topped off, taught, and ready to go. Bring up anything you have noticed recently with your car that sounds or appears “off.”

Get it fixed. Now.

Stock Your Car With Necessities

Your car is your living room in many ways. It has plenty of comforts, but it also has plenty of room for you to store necessities out of the way just in case (like the extra pillows on your couch that you still haven’t figured out what to do with).

Here are some commonsense necessities to have in your vehicle during the winter driving season, especially for long trips:

  • Emergency flashers or flares
  • A snow brush and ice scraper
  • A blanket
  • A portable tire pump—it may get your damaged tire inflated enough to drive to the nearest service station
  • A spare tire
  • A jack
  • Roadside Assistance or Auto Club information and phone number
  • Vehicle registration and auto insurance information and card
  • Phone and charger (if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, it helps to have a charged up phone, so this helps charge while you are driving)
  • Phones have GPS. Cars often have navigation systems. Both cars and phones can “die,” so why not have a back up just in case?
  • Hats, gloves, boots—if you are stranded, make sure you are not miserable
  • Water, energy bars—if you are stranded, staying hydrated and energized will make things less stressful and keep you warm

Have a great holiday season!


  • Plan Now
  • Be ready for the worst case scenario
  • Get a check-up…for your car
  • Stock your car with necessities

Categories: General