Winter Driving Tips: How to Stay Safe in the Snow and Ice

winter driving tips

Fall and winter in Eugene can be a beautiful sight, with the changing leaves and occasional snow. However, it can also pose significant challenges for drivers, especially when heading over the pass to Bend. At Puddle Jumper Towing in Eugene, we understand the importance of safety during the winter months. In this blog, we’ll provide you with essential winter driving tips to help you stay safe on the road this fall and winter.

10 Winter Driving Tips to Help You Navigate the Roads

1. Prepare Your Vehicle:

Before hitting the road during winter, ensuring your vehicle is ready for the conditions is vital. Check your tires for proper tread depth and inflation, and consider switching to winter tires for added traction. Ensure your brakes, lights, and defrosting systems are in optimal working condition. Always carry chains when driving over the pass from October to March.

2. Keep an Emergency Kit:

Pack an emergency kit that includes items like a flashlight, blankets, extra clothing, non-perishable snacks, a first-aid kit, and a shovel. These can be invaluable in case you become stranded.

3. Clear Snow and Ice:

Before driving, remove all snow and ice from your vehicle, including the roof, hood, and lights. Clearing your windows is essential for visibility.

4. Drive Slowly and Smoothly:

Reduce your speed in snowy or icy conditions. Accelerate, brake, and turn slowly and smoothly to maintain control of your vehicle.

5. Increase Following Distance:

Allow for extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Stopping distances increase on slippery roads.

6. Brake Gently:

Avoid slamming on the brakes, as this can lead to skidding. Instead, apply steady and gentle pressure on the brake pedal.

7. Use Chains or Traction Devices:

In extreme conditions or when driving over mountain passes, it may be necessary to use tire chains or traction devices. Be sure to follow installation instructions carefully and find a safe place to pull off the road before putting chains on.

8. Check ODOT Trip Check:

When planning a trip from Eugene to Bend, or any mountain pass route in Oregon, it’s crucial to check ODOT Trip Check before you go. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) provides real-time updates on road conditions, closures, and any incidents along your route. This information can help you make informed decisions about whether it’s safe to travel, choose alternative routes, or adjust your departure time.

9. Stay Informed:

Stay tuned to weather forecasts and road condition updates, especially during winter storms. Be flexible with your travel plans and consider delaying your trip if conditions worsen.

10. Know When to Stop:

If conditions become too hazardous, don’t hesitate to find a safe place to pull over and wait for conditions to improve or seek shelter if necessary. Your safety should always come first.

Puddle Jumper Towing is Here for You

Winter driving in Eugene, OR and the journey over mountain passes can be challenging, but with proper preparation and caution, you can arrive at your destination safely. At Puddle Jumper Towing in Eugene, we prioritize your safety and encourage you to follow these winter driving tips. And remember to check ODOT Trip Check for the latest road conditions before embarking on your winter adventures. Safe travels!

Call a Tow Truck Near You