Now that winter is here in full swing in the Twin Cities area, it’s time to start thinking seriously about safe winter driving measures. When the streets get icy or a winter storm rolls in, you’ll need to take extra steps to keep everyone in and around your vehicle safe. Just taking a few extra steps and planning ahead can mean the difference between safe winter driving and disaster.

At Suburban Auto Body in St. Paul, we help drivers get back on the road safely after the unexpected happens, and we want to do everything we can to promote safe driving. We’ve put together this guide to winter driving safety tips to help keep you safer on the road this winter. Give us a call when you need auto body and repair services you can trust in the Twin Cities area this winter.

Plan Ahead For Emergencies

The first thing to know about safe winter driving is that a little preparation goes a long way. Taking the time to pack a few emergency supplies in your vehicle ahead of the unexpected could quite literally mean the difference between life and death. Be sure your vehicle has everything you need for a winter car emergency as well as basic survival tools in case you end up stranded somewhere in the bitter winter cold.

Here’s a quick checklist of emergency items to pack in your vehicle:

●        A high-power flashlight with working batteries

●        Spare flashlight batteries

●        Jumper cables

●        Basic tools

●        A tow chain

●        Cat litter or sand

●        A warm blanket or two depending on how many people ride in your vehicle

●        First aid supplies

●        Non-perishable snack foods like granola bars

●        Water bottles

●        Road flares

●        Gloves

●        Ice scraper

Additionally, plan ahead to make sure your mobile phone is always charged and consider keeping an extra charger bank on hand in case you end up on the side of the road with a dead battery. Take a coat with you even if you don’t think you need one. Finally, be sure to check the weather before you leave every day, and avoid driving in a winter storm if at all possible.

Preparing Your Vehicle For Winter

Besides stocking your ride with emergency supplies, you should also make sure your vehicle is in good working condition. This reduces the likelihood that you’ll end up broken down on the side of the road in sub-freezing temperatures.

Check your vehicle to make sure all of its components are up to the rigors of winter driving, including:

●        Battery

●        Brakes

●        Windshield wipers

●        Working headlights

●        Working tail lights

●        Fluid levels

●        Tires

Driving Safely In Winter Conditions

Besides planning ahead, you should also take extra precautions when behind the wheel in winter weather conditions. Never follow other drivers too closely. If conditions are icy or wet, you’ll need to place more distance between your car and those ahead of you.

Additionally, be especially careful on bridges since they can be icy even when the rest of the road seems fine. Never drive aggressively under any circumstances, but particularly avoid this behavior during winter conditions as it can be deadly. When your car starts to slide, don’t panic. Without hitting the gas pedal or slamming on the brakes, turn your wheel in the direction you’re trying to go. If you don’t have ABS brakes, you can apply a threshold braking technique to help reduce your speed without locking the wheels.

Call Our Minnesota Auto Body And Repair Pros

Even if you do everything you can to drive carefully during the winter months, accidents can happen. Thankfully, Suburban Auto Body is here to help with our convenient Suburban EZ services. When you need auto body repair in the Twin Cities area, give us a call at 651-633-8900 or connect with us online to get your free quote.