Winter Driving Safety Tips

With the weather so frightful, now is a great time to brush up on your Defensie Drive Course. Not only does DDC teach you high level driving strategy but it also teaches you to recognize hazards while also saving you money. Most insurance companies approve the NDSC DDC course for an insurance discount.

The NDSC also offers a private course for Adverse Weather Driving.

Winter is in full swing! Please remember these driving tips to stay safe this winter.

  • Check the weather before you go

    • Warm up your car before you go and NEVER leave a vehicle running in an enclosed area, such as a garage or an attached garage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
    • Share your travel plans with someone if you must go
    • If you become stranded, don’t leave your car. Light flares in front and behind your car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or any other object
  • Prepare your car by checking the following items

    • Ignition and brakes
    • Wiring, hoses and fan belts
    • Spark plugs, distributor and battery
    • Air, fuel and emissions filters, and PCV valve
    • Tire wear and pressure
    • Antifreeze level and freeze line
  • Know what to do to avoid a crash

    • Never mix radial tires with other types of tires
    • Avoid using your parking brake to slow or stop
    • Don’t use cruise control
    • Look and steer in the direction you want to go
    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
    • Increase following distances to 8-10 seconds
    • Know whether you have antilock brakes, which will “pump” the brakes for you in a skid
    • Keep your gas tank at least half full
  • Don’t leave home without these items

    • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
    • Shovel and tool kit
    • Jumper cables, tow and tire chains
    • Bag of salt or cat litter for better tire traction or to melt snow
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Reflective triangles or flares
    • Compass and first aid kit
    • Windshield cleaner
    • Ice scraper and snow brush
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Extra gasoline
    • Scissors and string or cord
    • Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted, canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
    • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats