Have you ever heard that steering away from a skid can help you regain control? How about you only need winter tires on the wheels that receive power? These myths can put drivers in danger and cause accidents. This winter, our fleet fuel card company wants you to know what facts are myths so that you’ll be better prepared to drive in inclement weather.
Let your car warm up
Most people think it’s good to start your car early in the morning and let it run for awhile before driving it, however, it’s not good for your car. When your car idles, toxins from gas build up throughout your exhaust and you also waste gas. In addition, it takes longer for your engine to heat up while idling than it does while driving.
Turn on your brights in snowy weather
If you’re driving in a snowstorm and can’t see clearly, you may want to turn on your high beams. Instead of helping, however, this could actually hurt your visibility. Bright light is reflected by light colors (and snow is white), so use a dimmer light (like your fog lights) to help increase your clarity.
Take back roads to avoid traffic
While you may want to avoid traffic, back roads during inclement weather can be a bad idea. Back roads are the last to be plowed and salted, so they’re likely in worse conditions than main roads and highways. Give yourself some extra driving time and stick to a main route.
AWD is better in snow
While all-wheel-drive vehicles can help you grip the road better during acceleration, they do little to help you steer better or stop in a shorter distance. AWD is more of a performance feature than a safety feature, so don’t think that you can simply drive with less caution in an AWD car.
You only need to clear your windshields
You may only need your front and back windshields to see the road, but you can be fined for not fully clearing snow off of your car. Piles of snow and/or ice are considered dangerous to other drivers – they can shift and blow off while the car is in motion and can impair other drivers’ vision or even damage their cars.
Under-inflate your tires
There’s a myth that says if you under-inflate your tires in the winter, you’ll get more traction on the road. This is not only untrue, but can also be dangerous. Under-inflated tires will take away your performance and effectiveness, leaving you in an unsafe condition.
Use your brakes on a slippery downhill
Going downward on a slippery hill may spark your first instinct – to hit the brakes. If you drive a manual car, however, you should downshift into a lower gear and use engine braking instead of foot braking. Foot braking will encourage your wheels to lock, but engine braking will give you more torque and reduce slippage.