Midwesterners know that snow, sleet, and ice are no joke while driving in the winter. While the snow makes the world look like a winter wonderland from our homes, snow storms and black ice are known to cause major accidents among drivers in Council Bluffs. Whether you’re here visiting or you’ve lived in Omaha your whole life, learning how to drive in Iowa winter road conditions will help keep you, your passengers, and other drivers safe. Read our guide on how to drive safely in the snow and sleet, and then contact us to learn how you can prepare an emergency car kit for winter or find out which SUVs are best for winter driving.
The best advice for avoiding Iowa winter driving conditions is to stay home when the weather is bad. It may be tempting to go out and buy three bags of cheetos to help wait out the storm, but no doorbuster sale or snack food is worth putting yourself in danger. However, if you have to leave the house, follow these tips to stay safe in Iowa winter road conditions:
Drive Slowly: We know driving in the snow makes it look like you’re piloting the Millenium Falcon, but your Chevy Impala is not the fastest ship in the Galaxy. To stay safe slow down and adjust your speed for the lower traction on snow and ice.
Accelerate And Decelerate Slowly: It takes longer to start and stop on snowy and icy roads because of decreased traction. Accelerate slowly to avoid skidding and to gain traction on the road. Make sure to give yourself plenty of room to stop too, even if you have AWD.
Don’t Power Up Hills: Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will make your wheels spin. Try to build up a little inertia before you reach a hill and let it carry you to the top. Accelerate as needed to avoid stopping. As you reach the top of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
Turn On Your Headlights: This may seem obvious, but make sure your headlights are on so you are visible to other drivers. Do not turn on your high beams. This will blind other drivers and may actually lower your ability to see in flying snow.
What To Do If You Become Stranded
So you went out for the cheetos anyway, it’s okay, we understand. If you’re stuck in the snow due to Iowa winter driving conditions, it’s important to stay calm and stay close to your vehicle. We’ve outlined what to do next below:
Get Your Winter Emergency Car Kit: Your emergency car kit should have all the supplies you need to keep you warm, hydrated, and help you out of a ditch if you become stuck.
Stay With Your Vehicle:Your vehicle will provide you with temporary shelter and makes it easier to locate you. Do not try to walk anywhere in a severe storm or in subfreezing conditions. You could lose sight of your vehicle and become lost or immobilized by the cold.
Don’t Over Exert Yourself:If you’re digging out your vehicle, take breaks when you need them. Pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion will only work against you.
Be Visible:Turn on your hazards or tie a brightly colored cloth or item to your antenna or a rolled up window. Turn on your dome light if possible. This will help other drivers and rescue crews see you.
Clear The Exhaust Pipe:Make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t covered or blocked by snow, mud, or ice. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly monoxide gas to build up in the cabin of your vehicle while the engine is running.
Stay Warm:Use whatever is available to insulate yourself from the cold. Your winter emergency car kit should include a blanket and spare scarves, hats, and gloves. Otherwise you can use floor mats, newspapers, or paper maps in an emergency.
Conserve Fuel:If possible, only run the engine long enough to ward off the chill. This will help conserve fuel.
Call For Help:If you have service in your vehicle, call for emergency road-side assistance if you are trapped or stuck in the snow in Bellevue.
Prepare Your Car For Winter at Edwards Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT
Before the winter weather arrives, bring your vehicle to Edwards Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT to ensure that it’s ready for Iowa winter driving conditions. You can schedule a service appointment to have your oil changed, check your engine, and have your winter tires put on. We offer service specials so you can save while preparing your car for the La Vista winter. Now that your car is ready for winter, visit one of our favorite restaurants for a bite to eat!
Schedule Service with Edwards Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT