It is common knowledge that driving on freezing, snowy days requires greater care and attentiveness in order to keep yourself and other motorists safe. When drivers have misconceptions about what behaviors are actually safe, however, they can actually make things much more dangerous.
There is no such thing as being too careful when it comes to winter driving. By clearing away some of the common misconceptions surrounding low-temperature driving, you can do your part to prevent accidents that might cause severe damage or injury.
“I should warm my car up before I drive”
Starting up your car and letting it idle before leaving is a common practice. Modern vehicles do not have the same fuel delivery limitations in cold temperatures as those from bygone decades, and letting your car idle for a prolonged period may even result in harmful carbon monoxide emissions.
“I can use my parking brake to stop on icy roads”
The parking brake, also known as the handbrake or emergency brake, does not help with stopping on slippery roads. On the contrary, your parking brake bypasses the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system and makes it even more difficult to come to a stop.
“Four-wheel drive makes it perfectly safe to drive in the snow”
Four-wheel drive helps you gain traction on snowy roads, which can be very beneficial in reaching your destination, but you should not rely on it as a foolproof solution to all your winter driving problems. For example, four-wheel drive functionality will do little to help you come to a stop on icy surfaces if you do not have the appropriate tires for the terrain.
Nobody wants to create harmful situations on the road, but maintaining poor safety practices is a form of negligence. Avoid unnecessary injuries by driving responsibly even in freezing temperatures.