With harsher winter weather picking up in full swing these next few months here in Connecticut, staying safe on the roads is of utmost importance for drivers living here. Having poor visibility while on the road is a guaranteed way to reduce your safety while putting yourself and other motorists at risk. Having a clear view is the first step in preventing accidents on the road and protecting yourself as well as the passengers of your vehicle.
Below are 3 tips for improving visibility when driving this winter.
The majority of people only clear off about 60-70% of their windshield and that unfortunately leaves room for limited visibility while driving this winter. Make it a habit to clear off 100% of your windshield as well as the rest of your car as falling snow can endanger other drivers on the road. To start off, there are 2 quick ways you can speed up the process of clearing your vehicle’s windshield and windows every morning.
The first way to defrost your car’s windshield in less time is to heat up some water to a lukewarm temperature and pour it onto your car’s windows. This will cause the ice to melt and make scraping it away much easier. A good extra step is to fill up a jug of water with your morning shower so you don’t have to wait around for water to heat up prior to applying it to your car.
The second solution is to use a commercial de-icer or make your own using rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dish soap. This can also help speed up the process of removing ice and snow from your car in the morning when you’re in a rush. Spray the solution on any icy areas of your car’s windows and wait 60 seconds for it to take effect. Once it starts working it will be much easier to remove ice from your and save you time.
For other creative solutions you can visit this WikiHow article for easier methods of de-icing and removing snow from your vehicle.
Wiper blades functioning at full capacity can often mitigate weather no matter how harsh the conditions are. Worn or damaged windshield wipers can leave a dangerous layer of snow, ice, sleet, or can cause streaks on your windshield that impair your ability to see the road. The good news is there are cost-effective ways of extending the life of your wiper blades.
According to this guide by consumer reports on replacing wiper blades, a good method is to “put windshield washer fluid or glass cleaner on a damp sponge or rag and wipe debris off the rubber and the windshield where the wiper rests. You might be rewarded with a couple more months of a clear windshield without spending money on replacements.”
If your wipers are too worn to fix, it is best to find replacements that are specially designed to handle freezing temperatures and icy weather. In this case you don’t have to break the bank to buy excellent wiper blades. Most good quality blades can be purchased for $25 or under. This consumer report buying guide can help arm you with the right knowledge before you start shopping for new wipers.
Headlights are the number one way to be seen when driving in poor conditions so it’s much safer to always have them on when driving. Most modern cars use plastic headlight lenses that become cloudy over time. These aging lenses reduce the effectiveness of your headlights, setting the stage for a low-visibility driving environment.
A cost-effective and common cleaning solution for our car’s headlights is toothpaste. Try it for yourself by covering each light with toothpaste, scrubbing the cover, and washing it off with warm water. After you’ve cleared your headlights it’s also a worth applying a layer of wax to prevent snow and ice from sticking to it. In her blog “One Good Thing,” author Jillee outlines 25 other creative and cost-effective hacks to make driving this winter a little bit easier. It’s definitely worth a read here.
Remember to stay safe on the roads this winter and put an emphasis on maintaining clear visibility.