Driving in cold weather conditions is not always a simple task. Although some individuals may be more adept than others at driving while the rain is coming down hard, wind is blowing strong or snow is blanketing the roads, not everyone knows how to keep themselves and others safe in these conditions. It is for this reason we wanted to provide a few eco-friendly cold weather driving tips you can start using right away. Whether you live in a part of the world where autumn and winter bring a lot of rain, ice and snow, or you live someplace where the weather is a little more mild, these tips can help you make the most of your travels.
1. Slow down and maintain speeds appropriate with existing road conditions. Not all drivers remember to slow down when the rain begins to fall or weather makes driving more difficult. Taking this one action can not only help save your life and many others, it can also improve your fuel economy and gas mileage.
2. While checking the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires is an action all drivers should routinely take, regardless of the season, it is especially important during cold weather months. Air contracts when it is colder. So, if you haven’t checked your tire pressure recently, a sudden drop in temperature could have a significant impact on your drive. In some parts of the world, you may want or need to switch to winter tires if conditions warrant.
3. Conduct routine vehicle maintenance. In addition to checking your tire pressure, it is essential you get your vehicle checked out regularly and make sure routine vehicle maintenance is performed. By doing so, you could save yourself a lot of time, money and unnecessary heartbreak. Vehicles also tend to perform better when properly maintained.
4. Gasoline and routine maintenance alone can only do so much. Those who choose to opt for a proven liquid fuel catalyst, like Biofriendly Corporation’s Green Plus® will have cleaner motors, their vehicles will run more smoothly, fuel efficiency will improve and emissions will drop.
5. All drivers should learn to practice moderation when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Accelerating or braking too fast can wreak havoc on your fuel economy. Adhering to posted speed limit signs can go a long way towards improving fuel economy and lowering the impact your driving has on your local environment.
6. Steer clear of standing water. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes people need to be reminded not to drive through areas in which a large amount of water has accumulated. Doing so can cause your vehicle to get stuck, can cause untold amounts of damage and could put your life at risk. It’s a simple driving tip, however one you should keep in mind during the cold weather months.
7. Carry emergency supplies in your vehicle at all times. Having an emergency roadside kit and first aid kit will come in handy if your vehicle ever breaks down or you are involved in an accident. It’s a simple measure, but one that could be very beneficial should the need arise (which hopefully it never will).
8. Figure out how to combine trips whenever possible so as to save gas, minimize time spent on the road and reduce miles traveled. If you have to do a little grocery shopping, arrange to pick up your dry cleaning, go to the bank and run any other errands all on the same trip.
9. Wide down your car windows with a natural window glass cleaner to avoid having your windows fog up in colder temperatures. If you want, you can try a saltwater and vinegar mixture to help do the trick. It’s a simple action, but one which might make your cold weather driving a little bit less stressful.
10. Improve your traction a little bit with the use of some kitty litter or used coffee grounds. If you want to keep some cat litter on hand, you can use it to help melt ice (or rather improve your vehicle’s traction on the ice) instead of using the more toxic road salt. You can also find salt-free, organic de-icers which may be able to do the trick. Huffington Post offers a few other eco-friendly salt alternatives for melting ice and snow. Of course, shoveling it on your own is a very eco-friendly way to clear away ice and snow.
With these and other eco-friendly cold weather driving tips, your travels will likely be far less stressful, not as harmful on the environment and much safer.
Cold weather image by Kait via Flickr Creative Commons license.