How To Drive In The Snow

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March 23, 2021

Safe Winter Driving – Althans’ Best Tips


Here in Northeast Ohio we deal with ice, snow, and other winter weather hazards every year. We all think we’re winter driving experts but after months of good weather, snow and ice can bring a steep re-learning curve. Here’s a quick refresh on winter driving best practices.


Prevention – Use Smart Driving Habits In Winter Weather

Driving defensively is always the best approach – it means you’re always watching, not presuming to know what’s going on around you. Use these defensive driving tips and be safe out there:


  • Keep your distance. Use at least a four-second following rule (more in bad weather)
  • Be seen. Passing a vehicle on the right puts you right in their blind spot
  • Be patient. Wait for oversized vehicles to turn and leave them plenty of clearance
  • Be courteous. Let vehicles into your lane when you can
  • Plan ahead. When passing, leave space to merge back and to maneuver
  • Take it slow. Fast speeds can provoke other drivers and are dangerous on wet roads
  • Leave room. Semi trucks move slower uphill, faster downhill – give them extra space
  • Keep moving. Stay slow and steady when travelling uphill


Protection – Keep Yourself Safe

Even if you’re the safest driver you know, winter driving conditions can leave you stranded in a snow bank or broken down during a storm. Once you’ve called for help, follow these practical tips to keep safe while you wait:


  • Stay put in the vehicle until help shows up. Leaving the area can put you at risk.
  • Remain visible using emergency lights, a dome light, or bright cloth.
  • Conserve fuel and only run the engine and heater long enough to warm up and cycle fresh air.
  • Clear the exhaust pipe if you’re marooned in a snowback to stop backflow and buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • Keep aware and if you feel yourself getting sleepy or queasy, crack a window and turn off the engine.
  • Stay awake to keep aware of what’s going on around you and on the lookout for help.
  • Keep warm by running the heat for a while and using anything available for warmth.
  • Reduce exertion and remember that cold weather puts an added strain on your heart.


If you happen to find yourself stranded and without a phone or emergency GPS, your best and safest bet is to stay with your vehicle and try to draw attention. 


Althans Keeps You Safe

Here at Althans we’re all about protection, in all its forms. We know that seasonal risks are real and take planning to overcome. From timely tips to robust auto insurance policies and reliable customer service, we’re here for you this and every season. Reach out if you’d like to learn more – we’re ready to help!