Six Winter Weather Driving Tips Part 1
After beginning the New Year with ten inches of snow and temperatures bottoming out below zero, it feels like spring is on the way. Nevertheless, winter will return before the end of the month. With our latest round of winter weather, despite several days of warning from our local meteorologists, once conditions deteriorated vehicle incidents led to the closer of I-26 for several hours.
With the end of winter still several weeks away, we wanted to share some of the tips that keep us safe when we must travel in the snow and ice. In our two-part series, we will discuss six tips for driving in winter weather in Asheville, NC. Below are the first three:
1) Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather Emergencies
If you must travel during winter weather, it is vitally important you are prepared for emergency scenarios. Even if you are a safe driver, you may find yourself caught in traffic due to other’s mishaps. In 2014 and 2005, snow and ice events led to vehicles accidents that backed up traffic for up to 12 hours (pictured above). Your winter weather kit should include:
- Tire Chains (especially if you are driving in higher elevations)
- Kitty Litter or Rock Salt
- Blankets and Coats
- Non-perishable Food
- Extra Fuel
- Drinking Water
- Walking Shoes
2) Do Not Allow Your Vehicle to Idle for Lengthy Intervals
If you find yourself stuck in traffic, it is important to stay warm without using excess fuel, draining your batter, or exposing yourself to carbon monoxide. Writing for Syracuse.com, Hart Seely recommends that If it is clear traffic is not going to be moving for some time, turn on the engine for ten minutes at a time approximately every half-hour. Additionally, to guard against carbon monoxide, make sure your exhaust is free of snow and ice.
3) Know the Winter Weather Conditions in Which You’re Driving
Your vehicle will respond differently in various conditions. During the winter, it is important to be aware of the changing weather conditions whenever you drive. In the Asheville area, weather can change drastically with a few hundred feet of elevation. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are the weather conditions here?
- What are the weather conditions where I am going?
- Will I encounter snow? Will I encounter ice?
- If I am returning after dark, is there a possibility wet roads will become icy?
- Am I prepared to survive being caught out in the cold?
Generally, your vehicle will have more traction on snow than ice, especially black ice. Appearing as simply wet pavement, black ice is notoriously difficult to identify. If you know that the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), you may assume wet pavement is icy. Other factors of which to be aware include:
- Whether the road on which you’re driving has been treated with salt
- How cold is it? Even treated roads may become icy if the temperature dips below 20 degrees.
- The tread depth of your tires.
- Bridges and overpasses will freeze more quickly.
In our next blog, we will discuss three additional important winter weather safety tips. If you encounter snow and ice when driving, slow down. Whether or not winter weather is in the forecast, if you are traveling to Asheville, leave the driving to us. We offer shuttle services from Greenville-Spartanburg, Charlotte-Douglas, and Asheville airports. Furthermore, we will transport you throughout Asheville and western North Carolina, so your luxury, professional transportation will be worry-free experience. Contact us today for more information.