Georgia doesn’t usually get much ice and snow during the winter. However, since the city isn’t equipped for this kind of weather, ice storms can make driving a real challenge, especially on untreated side roads. Here are our top tips for safely driving in ice and snow in Atlanta.
Tips for Driving in Ice and Snow in Atlanta
No matter how experienced you are, winter weather driving presents a unique set of challenges, so please don’t hop in your car and drive like you normally do! It’s possible to drive safely on snow and ice, and here’s how:
- Speed up and slow down gradually since you cannot stop quickly.
- Drive below the speed limit so you can give yourself more time to react to road conditions or other drivers.
- Try to avoid hills if you can. If you live at the top of a hill, don’t slam on the accelerator, as this increases your risk of spinning out. Keep your speed consistent.
- Try not to stop on a hill, as you may backslide.
- If you do slide, don’t panic! Point your wheels in the direction you’re sliding to let the tread catch and help you regain traction.
- Plan extra time to get where you’re going since your trips will take longer than usual.
- Keep your headlights on when the sky is overcast to improve your visibility to other drivers.
- Absolutely do not use cruise control! You may not be able to react quickly enough to any unexpected road conditions and potentially end up in an accident.
Before you start your trip, always clear any snow or ice off your vehicle (including the roof). Always check that the tailpipe is free of ice, slush or other debris as well, or else you could cause carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle’s cabin.
Prepare Your Car for Winter Conditions
Preparing your car for winter conditions is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to driving in ice and snow. A quick trip to the mechanic can mean the difference between your car being prepared for the season and getting stranded on the side of the road.
Whether you take a DIY approach or you want a mechanic like T3 Atlanta to inspect your vehicle, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s…
- Windshield wipers
- Fluid levels (and add antifreeze if needed)
- Tires (for adequate tread as well as any cracks or damaged areas)
You may also want to pack an emergency kit. As too many of us remember from the 2013 ice storm, being caught off-guard can result in getting stranded in your car overnight.
Make sure to include:
- Sand, salt, or cat litter to help your tires get traction if you become stuck
- Foldable snow shovel
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Ice scraper
- Towel or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Extra clothing and blankets
- Water and high-protein snacks
- Cell power card and emergency charger
- Snow chains
If you do become stranded, do not abandon your vehicle. Instead, call roadside assistance or the non-emergency line for assistance. Stay in your car for safety (other drivers may be having difficulty on the roads as well) and bundle up to stay warm while you wait. Run your car’s heater as needed to help you stay warm.
On that note, you’ll want to make sure your gas tank is always filled at least halfway during the winter months. If you wind up getting stranded, you’ll be glad you have the extra fuel to help stay warm while waiting for help!
T3 Atlanta can help ensure that your car is ready for snowy and icy conditions. With our two convenient locations in Smyrna and Decatur, we make your annual winter car preparation a snap. Give us a call today!