Winter Driving Tips

WinterDriving-300x300.jpgWinter weather can make for difficult driving conditions that can affect even the most heroic of home caregivers or the most careful of senior drivers. The following tips can help to make the winter weather driv​ing experience safer and more manageable.

Cruise control may not be appropriate. Home caregivers on trips to take Grandmother to an out-of-town appointment may be used to switching on the cruise control. That may not be the best idea in winter weather. Wet, snowy, or icy roads create slippery conditions, and that may require immediate responses from the driver which can be hampered by use of cruise control.

Allow more time. When the weather is bad, drivers need to proceed with more caution – and that includes slowing down. Budget some extra time to get to appointments; this will allow a person to drive at a properly cautious speed during times of snow or ice.

Allow more space. Stopping quickly is more difficult in winter weather. Avoid tailgating, and put more space between your car and the one in front. Also, allow more time to stop at intersections.

Work with the hill. People often speed up significantly as they climb up a hill in the snow. More often than not, this just makes the wheels spin more. The better bet is to put on a little speed before hitting the hill, then maintain a steady speed up the hill. It often helps to slow down a little as one reaches the top; however, avoid stopping altogether on a hill, as it is more difficult to get started up again. Once at the crest and going down, go slowly and carefully.

Warm the car up properly. Engines often need a little time to get warm before going on a trip, but such warming up should never take place in an enclosed area, like a garage. If the car is in the garage, start it, let it run for a few moments, then back it out and let it finish warming up in fresh air. Idling a car in an enclosed space can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal.

Wear a seat belt. This goes for any time a person is driving, but is especially the case when driving in slippery conditions.

Home caregivers and seniors, like all drivers, need to practice common sense and caution when venturing out on the roads in winter weather.

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