Winter Driving Tips
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MAKE SURE YOUR TIRES CAN GRIP SLIPPERY ROADS. Get your tires checked and ask the specialists about your traction needs. Check and maintain your tire air pressure levels regularly throughout the winter. Winter debris can cause tears and leaks and extremely cold air can drop your air pressure levels. Take a few seconds to check tire pressure levels each week.  

GIVE YOURSELF A WINTER TEST DRIVE. Before you hit the road, make sure you understand how your car handles in winter conditions. During the first storm of the season, drive to a safe open space nearby to try out your brakes, traction and steering on icy, wet or snow-packed pavement. You will learn how to recognize when your car is sliding and how to regain control once it does.

KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR TRIP AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY. If you know you need to travel through bad weather conditions, be sure to check for travel advisories on the U.S. Department of Transportation website. Visit Indiana's Department of Transportation website for information and alerts about your local weather, road conditions and traffic levels.

IF YOU START SLIDING, TURN SLIGHTLY INTO THE SKID. Once your vehicle begins to slide, your tires have lost traction with the road. It may seem counterintuitive, but in order to avoid a spinout you need to turn slightly into the skid, slowly let of the gas and begin pumping the breaks. Yanking the wheel in the other direction and locking the brakes will stop your tires from turning, but you are less likely to regain traction with the road surface.

SLOW DOWN AND RELAX. Do everything more slowly and more lightly than you normally would. Hitting your gas pedal, clamping your breaks or cranking your wheel too quickly will cause loss of traction on an icy or wet road.

KNOW WHEN TO QUIT. Sometimes road conditions are simply too dangerous for safe travel. If you cannot see or you keep losing control, pull over. Never push your luck if you are unsure. It is not worth jeopardizing your safety or the safety of other drivers on the road.


If you have the right items in your emergency roadside kit, you can safely deal with any problems that arise.

Here’s a full list of supplies you may want to include in your kit:
Tools: jack, lug wrench, shovel
Chains or traction tires
Extra car fluids: oil, washer fluid, antifreeze
Non-clumping kitty litter, sand or de-icer
Reflectors and flags
Road maps
Extra warm clothes, boots, hat and gloves
Ice scraper and snow brush
Cell phone and car adapter
Rechargeable flashlight
First aid kit
Matches or lighter
Battery jumper cables
Extra food and water
Blanket/sleeping bags
Pocket knife


The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative is an effort to formally recognize organizations who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water, and climate events. As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, Indy Snow Force and the Indianapolis Department of Public Works are committed to strengthening Indy's resilience against extreme weather.

Click the logo below to learn how you can become "weather ready".