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Safety tips for winter driving

Jan 12, 2022

It is starting to feel like winter in Indiana, so make sure you and your car are prepared for the cold, snow and ice.

Protect IU has a few recommendations to help winterize your car. First, it is important to get your car checked at an auto shop. They’ll look at your tire tread, battery, brakes and more to ensure your vehicle is in safe condition.

Also make sure you have emergency supplies in your vehicle. Tools like a shovel, flashlight and jumper cables are must-haves. Winter weather can also leave you stranded, so keep items like a phone charger, blanket, snacks, water and a first aid kit handy.

Before you start driving, defrost and scrape ice off all of your windows, lights and mirrors. Also make sure your gas tank is at least half full in case you get stuck and need to keep your heater running.

Description of the following video:

Animated car in snow with light music in the background. On-screen text: Winter Driving Part 1. Winterize your vehicle. Car arriving at an auto shop. On-screen text: Schedule a service. Wipe to image of tires and text: check tires and tire pressure for sufficient tread and air pressure. Car battery. On-screen text: check battery for sufficient voltage and belts. Mechanic checking underneath a car. On-screen text: Also check hoses, radiator, oil, lights, breaks, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, and ignition. Car driving in snow with text: keep emergency supplies in car. Wipe to images of a battery charger, ice scraper, shovel, sand or cat litter, hazard triangles, flashlight and batteries, a blanket or extra clothes. Also snacks, water, a first aid kit, and jumper cables. Car filling up with gas. On-screen text: keep gas tank at least half full. Person scraping off their car windows. On-screen text: Before driving, scrape and defrost windows, and clean lights and mirrors. Car pulling up to a stop light. On-screen text: Remember to 1. Stay alert, 2. Slow down, and 3. Stay in control. End screen with text: For more information visit


When you are driving in winter conditions, keep this mantra in mind: Stay alert, slow down and stay in control.

Start slowly and test steering and brake ability. Avoid spinning tires by pressing the accelerator gently until the car starts to roll. Rain, ice and snow can all affect braking distance, so reduce your speed to match the severity of conditions. It is also important to leave more space between cars and prepare to stop three times sooner than normal.

Beware of black ice on bridges and shaded areas. If you start to slide:
• Remove your foot from the accelerator.
• Do NOT apply the brake.
• Steer in the direction of the skid.

Description of the following video:

Animated grey car driving in snow with light background music. On screen text: Winter driving part 2: Driving in ice and snow. Car pulling up to a stop light. On-screen text: Winter driving mantra: 1. Stay alert, 2. Slow down, 3. Stay in control. Blue car braking to a stop. On-screen text: Start slow and test steering and braking ability. Blue car spinning back tires. On-screen text: Avoid spinning tires. Person pressing down on gas pedal. On-screen text: Gently press accelerator until car starts to roll. Transition to a three-split screen with someone holding an umbrella in the rain, a car sliding on ice, and a snowman with snow on his car. On-screen text: Winter driving conditions can affect braking distance. Yellow car driving down a road in the snow with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour. On-screen text: Reduce speed to correspond with conditions. Video shows speedometer go down to 25 miles per hour. Yellow car backs up, leaving more space between it and the red car in front. On-screen text: Also, allow more distance between cars (8-10 seconds). Car pulls up to a stop light. On-screen text: Prepare to stop and turn 3 times sooner than normal and pump the break gently. Animated person puts foot on the brake pedal. Grey car driving in the snow at night. On-screen text: Beware of black ice on bridges and shaded areas. Car sliding on the road. On-screen text: If the car starts to slide, remove foot from the accelerator, do NOT apply brake, steer in the direction of the skid. End screen with text: For more information visit 



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