Winter Driving Tips from Rockville City Police

Prepare your vehicle for snow and ice during the region's snowiest months.


January and February tend to be the snowiest months in Montgomery County. If you haven’t already winterized your vehicle, consider Thursday’s snow miss a reprieve. Use the chance to prepare for when snow does arrive with these tips from the Rockville City Police Department

  • Check the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts.
  • Change and adjust the spark plugs.
  • Check the air, fuel and emission filters, and the PCV valve.
  • Inspect the distributor.
  • Check the battery.
  • Check the tires for air, their sidewalls for wear and their treads for depth.
  • Check the antifreeze levels and the freeze line.
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level.
  • Make sure that your gas tank is full before hitting the road.

Tips for driving on snow and ice:

  • The best advice for driving in bad weather: Don’t drive at all, if you can avoid it.
  • If you must go out, don’t go until snowplows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work.
  • Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
  • Make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter conditions, and that you know how to handle the road conditions.
  • Make sure that you clean all snow and ice off your vehicle, including from the windshield, back window, headlights and taillights, as well as side windows and side mirrors.
  • When driving, slow down and leave plenty of room to stop. Leave at least three times more space than usual between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If the brakes lock, don’t panic—ease off the brake.
  • Use your headlights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Use extreme caution on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads. They freeze first.
  • Don’t pass snowplows and sanding trucks. Their drivers have limited visibility, and you are likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind them.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
  • Don’t use a cell phone while driving. Period. If you need to make a call, pull over.

For more information visit www.weather.com or the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org.


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