Tips for Driving Safely in the Winter

shutterstock_97697837If there is anything we Pennsylvanians have learned over the past century or so, it is that Punxsutawney Phil can be a big, fat liar. Winter may be on its way out according to the calendar and certain impetuous marmot family members, but freezing temperatures and perhaps a bit of late snow still lie ahead in the weeks to come.


Anyone taking to the road in the winter months must therefore prepare themselves for the unique hazards winter presents. Here are five winter driving tips they can use to avoid catastrophe and stay healthy long enough to see our favorite flippant groundhog lie again to our chapped faces:

1. Double Down on Regular Safe Practices

Anything that could jeopardize your safety all year becomes even more concerning during the inclement winter months. Remember your vehicle safety basics:

  • Check lights turn signals, mirrors, etc. before entering the car
  • Complete remove any obstructions like snow
  • Use your seat belt every time
  • Keep up with any regular maintenance and handle problems early.

2. Check Your Battery

Have your battery examined and tested if it is over a year old. Weak engine starts are a common problem in the winter, especially in older vehicles or vehicles with diesel engines. If your battery has a low charge capacity, replace it with one that has a minimum of 600 CCA (cold cranking amps).

3. Drive More Conservatively

As Bill Murray’s character cautions our pal Punxsutawney Phil in Groundhog Day: “don’t drive angry!” Remember that even with a great stability control system, vehicles can lose traction easily in snow, ice, wet or even just overly-cold roads.

The key to avoiding loss of control is consistent, precise movements. Sudden changes in speed — both braking and accelerating — and direction both increase the chances that your vehicle could lose traction.

4. Invest in Snow Tires or All-Season Tires

Snow tires make a huge difference for people that have to actually drive in the snow on a regular basis. If you think it couldn’t be worth the investment, consider the costs of repairs should your vehicle skid off the road. Then a set of snow tires might seem worth it.

For the true penny-pinchers with two-wheel drive vehicles: One pair of snow tires can provide benefit when mounted on the driving axle of the car, e.g. front wheel drive vehicles should have the snow tires in the front.

5. Don’t Put Yourself in a Position to Get a Wintertime DUI Accident in Pennsylvania

Sitting in your cold car while a police officer runs your license is the least of your worries in the winter. Consider also that any safety risks of impaired driving are magnified when snow, ice and cold comes into play. You could be putting yourself or some innocent family in danger because of the hazards driving in Pennsylvania winters presents.

However, everyone makes mistakes. If you have been arrested following a DUI accident in Pennsylvania, contact the expert Pennsylvania DUI attorneys who can fight for your rights and manage your case to the highest level of skill possible. Call us at 215-940-1200. We offer free consultations and 24 hour, 7 day services.