How To Drive In Winter Weather

Driveing In Winter Weather

Driving in wintry conditions is something that everyone experiences eventually. While Nevada might not be famous for its harsh winters, driving in other part of the U.S. during the colder months means dealing with iced over roads, snow, driving rain and having to defrost your car in the morning. To make life a little easier this winter, we’ve put together some tips for how to drive in winter weather.

Surviving The Cold

Before You Drive – Spending a night in cold temperatures can have a negative effect on your car. Before heading out on the road, it’s best to make sure your car is properly warmed up by running the engine. Do not warm up your vehicle in an enclosed area like a garage. Very cold weather can affect the air pressure in your tires so it is best to check your tire pressure before driving. In areas of the U.S where the temperature drops extremely low motor oil can begin to thicken, losing the viscosity that allows the oil to flow and lubricate, making it ineffective and potentially damaging your car when the engine is started. In these conditions, it’s best to store you car indoors in a garage overnight. It is advisable to keep your tank half full of gas at all times so you can keep yourself warm if you breakdown.

Visibility – Low ambient light and weather conditions such as snow and heavy rain can reduced visibility during the winter months. Before driving make sure your brake lights, headlights, and all other lighting on the outside of your vehicle is functioning.

Driving Defensively – When driving in snow and icy conditions, it is important that you prioritize safe driving. Avoid traffic if you can. Make sure you are observing the correct distance between you and the car in front of you. Reduce your speed. Remember that heavy snowfall can refract high beam headlights, potentially blinding other drivers, so be considerate with their use.

Hydroplaning – Ice and water on the surface of the road can cause a car’s tyres to close traction, causing the car to hydroplane or skid. In this situation the key is to stay calm. Do not break or turn suddenly, rather turn your car into the skid and pump the brakes gently. Once your car has stopped hydroplaning, turn the wheel gently back to straighten out your vehicle.

Breaking Down – If you break down during the winter months, it may be some time before help can get to you. If possible, make sure your vehicle is safely off the road. If you need to leave your vehicle make sure you are wearing high visibility clothing. To stay warm while conserving fuel, turn on the car and run the heater for 10 minutes every hour. Before driving in adverse winter conditions make sure you have a charged mobile phone with you, should you need to call for help.

Learn From The Best

Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provides the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks, each automobile is DMV safety-approved and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent drivers ed and behind the wheel instruction.

At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining and geared toward success. We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.

Written by:
Rich Heinrich
Master Instructor, Emeritus

Instructor and Office Administrator

Frankie works and karaoke's in Las Vegas but his out-of-doors-heart is still out East. Born in Boston, Frankie loves the snow and mountains. As an avid snowboarder, Frankie has never seen a snow day he didn't LOVE! A graduate from…Read More