Whether you live in a cold area or frequently visit one, cold-weather driving is much different than warm-weather driving, and it takes some precaution. Here are some tips from our fleet fuel card company to make driving easier and keep you safe:
An Icy Windshield
Instead of taking an ice scraper to your icy windshield, try this: In a spray bottle, mix one-third parts water with two-thirds parts rubbing alcohol. Spray all over your windshield and you’ll notice that the ice melts quicker than it would if you were scraping it. The best part is that rubbing alcohol has a freezing point of around -120 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can keep the spray bottle in your car.
Breaking down in the winter is never fun and sometimes dangerous. Make sure to keep things like a small shovel, a blanket, non-perishable food, and water in the car in case something goes wrong and you’re stuck in your car for awhile. It’s also a good idea to keep a set of jumper cables and a first-aid kit handy.
If you get stuck in the snow, the last thing you should do is continue to accelerate. This will only dig you in deeper. Instead, push the snow away from your tires by moving them back and forth. If that doesn’t help, use your “emergency kit” shovel to clear the snow away. If you’re still having trouble, put your car mats underneath your tires for traction.
You never know when inclement weather like sleet, snow, or ice is going to hit, so make sure you have a good set of windshield wipers on your vehicle. They can make a huge difference in visibility and keep you safer.
Warming Up Your Car
Many people like to turn their car on in the morning and let it idle in order to “warm up.” While this may have been necessary for cars built before the 1980s, today’s cars actually heat up faster when you drive them after about 30 seconds. In addition, vehicles release more emissions in cold weather, and when they idle, they release both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The longer you let your car idle, the more pollution you create.
Snowy or icy weather can slow traffic down significantly, so if you have somewhere to be, give yourself ample time to get there. Don’t try to speed to make up for being delayed.