Michigan Winter Driving Reminders

The annual rite of winter has finally arrived in the State of Michigan. West Michigan received a major snow storm on Halloween and snow has come and stayed in areas north of Grayling and many in the Upper Peninsula have broken out their snowmobiles. Here in Michigan, winter rarely makes life stop, we press on with our normal daily routines and that makes work, school and actvities must go on.

This means that driving in slippery and snow-filled conditions is inevitable. It is critical that you are prepared to drive in these situations to avoid possible accidents or problems. Here are some easy tips to remember:

  1. Windshield Wiper Fluid: This is important for keeping your windshield clean and is often forgotten about until you’re heading down the highway and need it! Make sure your vehicle is filled up with windshield wiper fluid, which is fairly still cheap to purchase.
  2. Tire Condition: No one wants to talk about buying new tires. But, they are critical in slippery conditions. Make sure the tread on your tires is in good shape heading into winter. It can make a large difference between handling on icy roads or sliding around.
  3. Pay attention to the weather. In today’s world of instant forecasts on our phones, keep an eye on the weather. You shouldn’t be caught up off guard when rain turns into freezing rain and into snow. No one wants to be surprised when you’re driving and suddenly the weather turns.
  4. Leave early. In addition to knowing the weather, it is always easier to leave early to give yourself enough time in case your need to travel more slowly. Even on partially slippery roads, speed can be an issue. You need to be prepared to drive way under the posted speed limit in the wintertime and make sure that you aren’t rushing to your destination.
  5. Keep a scraper in your vehicle. Scraping off a small portion of your windshield so you can barely see in front of you is not an acceptable or safe way to drive in the morning, especially a dark Michigan morning with our lower daylight hours. Make sure you have a scraper in your car and leave enough time to scrape off your windshield, side windows and your rear window. It is important that you have all of your visibility at your disposal when driving.
  6. Keep jumper cables in your car. It is difficult to know what kind of condition your battery may be in. One very cold stretch of weather below 20 degrees can have an extremely hard impact on a vehicle battery, especially an older vehicle. Thus, you may encounter a dead battery. Keeping a set of jumper cables in your car allows you to ask a neighbor or a good samaritan to give you a jump to revive your battery and start your car.

Living in the beautiful state of Michigan means we get four seasons, which also means we need to deal with winter. It is easier to forget about winter driving when 8 months of the year the weather is favorable and roads are clear. Hopefully these reminders will help keep you safe driving this winter season. Additionally, accidents can happen in the winter. It is important to make sure you are properly insured with the right car insurance coverage.