Driving in winter presents lots of challenges. It’s easy to forget how different it is from summer driving until the first snowfall of the year hits. There is usually a rash of accidents during the first snowfall of the year as drivers try to re-activate their winter driving skills.
Winter Driving can be Scary for New Drivers
Winter driving can be very challenging even for the most experienced drivers. What about young drivers who only just recently got their license and may be experiencing winter driving for the first time? Are there any things that they should be preparing for in particular?
Know your Vehicle’s Safety Equipment
First of all, it’s important that you ensure that the young drivers in your family know how to use all of the safety equipment in their vehicle. That includes things like windshield wipers, windshield washers, defrosters, fog lights, and emergency flashers. It’s easy to get distracted while fiddling with knobs and buttons and it goes without saying that frosted or foggy windows make driving dangerous. It’s important for all drivers to know how use all of their vehicle’s equipment instinctively while still paying attention to what’s going on around them. Driving through a blizzard at 100 kph is the wrong time to be figuring out how to turn the windshield wipers on.
Drive and Dress for the Conditions
Days are much shorter during the winter months. That means young drivers are more likely to be driving in poor light conditions or at night. It’s important for new drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and slow down especially when wet leaves or slush on roads make them much more slippery.
Winter clothing can also make driving more hazardous. Bulky winter boots can get stuck between or under pedals, delaying the time it takes to get on the brake pedal. A split second might be all it takes to cause an accident. Make sure that the young drivers in your family are dressed for driving and their ability to control their vehicle isn’t hampered by overly bulky clothing or boots.
Practice like it’s for a Test
If you have a family member and this is their first winter as a fully licensed driver, it’s a good idea to take them out for a supervised drive on snowy roads. Until they know what to expect, it’s good to have an experienced co-pilot on board who can prepare them for how the car will react or respond on slippery roads.
A few minutes of preparation and a pre-trip pep talk can help to keep new drivers much safer during their first forays out onto snowy winter roads.
Now’s the Time to get Ready for Winter
Now’s the time to get your car ready for winter driving. If you haven’t put your winter tires on yet, or you need a new set, book an appointment with Kelowna Nissan and get it done before the first snowfall of the year hits.