Although Florida is definitely not known for winter weather, many Florida residents do have to travel in states where snow and ice are an issue throughout the cold weather months. Because so many Florida drivers are unfamiliar with driving on icy roads, these tips can help keep drivers and passengers safe should it be necessary to travel in winter conditions.

Tire Safety

Be sure that your tires are properly inflated and never combine radial tires with any other type of tire on your vehicle. Some tire experts recommend inflating the tire slightly higher than the manufacturer recommends in cold weather as this helps distribute heat from the tire better on icy roads. Check the tread on your tires as well and if the tires are worn, either replace them or avoid driving in winter weather.

Driving Tips

Never use cruise control when driving on wet, icy or snowy roads. Make sure your exhaust pipe is free of snow, ice or mud as a blocked exhaust could cause carbon monoxide to leak into your vehicle while it is running. Accelerate and decelerate slowly in order to gain better traction and to allow for reduced stopping times. In addition, be sure that you brake properly by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor and placing firm pressure with the ball of your foot on the pedal.

Stuck in Snow

If your vehicle becomes stuck in the snow, do not leave the vehicle. It will provide shelter and allow rescuers to find you easier. It is also easy to lose your way in severe storms, another reason to remain with your vehicle. Use whatever is handy to keep warm, including newspapers, floor mats and other items in the vehicle. Turn the engine on briefly to heat it up slightly, but do not leave it running. Do not overexert yourself attempting to dig out of the snow as you could be too tired to drive when you do get out.

Other Tips

Always wear your seatbelt, even when the road conditions are not dangerous. If you are traveling in winter conditions, be sure to keep your gas tank at least half full when you stop overnight to keep the gas line from freezing. Never drive when you are tired or have not had enough sleep, and definitely do not attempt to drive in winter conditions, or any road conditions for that matter, after you have been drinking. Avoid using the parking brake in winter weather as it could get stuck. Avoid being distracted on icy roads such as cell phones, the radio and others who may be talking in the vehicle.

These tips can help Florida drivers manage winter weather, even if they have not had experience driving on icy roads before. By maintaining your vehicle and following a few common sense guidelines, you can travel in areas where the weather is frightful in the winter and arrive at your destination safely to enjoy your time with family and friends.

Herndon Carr
10501 Six Mile Cypress Pky #101
Fort Myers, FL 33966