Most people wait until the summer to start a road trip, wanting to ensure the most comfortable and easy ride possible.
While it is nice to have warm summer weather while you're out and about, some people miss out on the unique beauty winter brings on these trips.
But with that beauty comes unique dangers on the road. If you do decide to travel during the coldest months of the year, here are a few must-know tips for a safe winter road trip to keep in your back pocket.
Make Sure That Your Car Is Up for the Trip
Before even putting rubber to the road, you need to know that your car is up for a winter journey. From tires to windshield wipers, double-check your essentials and keep an eye on them every time you make a stop along the trip.
Check the Car Battery
Test your car's battery to make sure that it is in an acceptable condition for a wintry climate. Cold weather affects a car's battery charge, and the lower the temperature is, the lower the battery's charge will be. If you don't monitor the state of your battery closely enough, your car could die on the side of the road in a remote area.
Watch for Tire Leaks
A decrease in a tire's air pressure after a thousand-mile-long road trip is understandable, but a drastic or recurring drop in pressure could indicate a puncture. And these situations are far worse in the cold winter months.
Because the cold condenses air, tires will automatically lose air pressure as temperatures drop. This fluctuation makes leaks and potential punctures worse than in summer. Make sure there are no significant leaks to begin with, and routinely check your tire pressure whenever you get the chance.
Inspect the Tire Treads
Make sure that your tires still have a solid grip on the road. Older and balding tires need immediate replacement if you decide to go out during the winter. Icy roads and slush are typical winter driving conditions, and smooth tires will make driving far more dangerous. Deeper and more flexible tire treads will help you keep your grip on the road during winter conditions.
Along the trip, you may need to replace a tire or get one patched up. Look up tire repair shops before heading into a new state or county.
Observe Heightened Caution
The slower you go, the faster you can react to imminent danger when you're out on the snowy roads. On top of the routine car maintenance, one of the best tips for a safe winter road trip is to drive more slowly and be aware that not everyone on the road is as cautious or prepared as you for these conditions.