Driving in Freezing RainFeb 6th, 2019
The winter season is arguably the most dangerous season in driving conditions for Canadians. A symptom of the danger can be freezing rain, “rain that freezes on impact with the ground or solid objects”. These conditions make the roads very dangerous even to a point where people opt out of driving entirely that day. If you don’t HAVE to drive, then don’t. But, some people may not have the option to stay inside while there are frightening conditions. If you need to drive while it is freezing rain outside, here are some tips to prepare yourself and stay safe.
Give yourself extra time on the road. The roads will be more congested with slower moving drivers so you should give yourself extra time to account for you moving slower on the roads.
Have proper tires. Having winter tires within this time of the winter season is almost essential for every Canadian driver. Winter tires allow more grip to the road while there are slippery substances on it in freezing conditions. They keep their rubbery grip and don’t dense up unlike all season tires that tend to be less effective within heavier conditions. Our parts department carries a wide variety of winter tires and can easily install them on your vehicle for you as well.
Keep proper tire maintenance. Check the tire tread depth to see if it is still thick enough to keep traction to your vehicle. If you have winter tires but not installed, you can bring them to our dealership and we can do it for you and we can even let you know how long they’ll last for. Or if they are old and fading, buy new ones to stay in top shape for winter driving.
Drive SLOW. Speeding is much too dangerous within these conditions. By going slower you have more reaction time, and an easier time trying to control your vehicle from any skids.
Avoid driving while fatigued. To reduce the amount of driving risks you should only operate your vehicle if you are fully rested.
Remain cautious and alert on the road. Keeping aware of your surroundings and going at a comfortable speed is the key to driving within freezing rain conditions.
Warm up your vehicle properly to clear your windshield. You can use a remote start while inside your home and let it heat up your windshield so you can properly see while driving. Many new and used Nissan vehicles offer this feature and can be looked more in depth here.
Avoid sudden acceleration and braking. When you make a sudden move, you have the risk of being caught in a skid which in some cases can be extremely hazardous.
Leave space between you and other drivers. When you leave extra space between you and other drivers you create more room to brake and accelerate without having to have it be sudden and cause a skid.
Avoid distracted driving habits. Using your phone, eating, changing a song are all cases of distracted driving and are more dangerous while driving within freezing rain. To read on more about distracted driving you can find our article on it here.
Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid your gas lines to freeze up. When the conditions are cold enough, the gas line has the potential to freeze up, making the vehicle undrivable.
Do not use cruise control while on slippery surfaces. Cruise control keeps a certain speed and will continue to try and keep that speed even if the roads are slippery. You want to be in full control of your vehicle while you drive in freezing rain in case you have to change your speeds.
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