10 Tips for Safe Winter Driving for Seniors

10 Winter Driving Tips for Older Adults

Snow in New Jersey in the winter is a given. And for those of us over the age of 55–that magical age many experts agree begins our decrease in driving ability–we may need to take extra care during winter weather. Seniors can still enjoy driving in the winter months; these tips will help older adults have more confidence.

  • Start with a well-maintained vehicle–have a mechanic check your car’s cooling systems, tire pressure, battery, wipers, windshield washer fluid, brakes, anti-freeze, fuel and air filters, heat & defrost systems
  • Invest in good quality all weather tires; good tread is essential in snowy weather
  • Drive during daylight if possible to avoid invisible icy patches, glare from oncoming headlights, and diminished visibility
  • Notify a family member or friend if venturing out when the weather is bad; let them know when you leave and when you’ve arrived at your destination
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car–shovel, ice scraper, flashlight, battery-powered radio, blanket, road salt/sand, extra mittens/hats, snack food, booster cables, emergency flares, first aid kit, distress flags
  • Plan your route to avoid unknown areas
  • Don’t drive if you’re tired
  • When approaching a snowy hill, do not apply the brakes as you ascend the hill; rather, keep the forward momentum going
  • Drive with a full tank of gas to add weight to the vehicle to help avoid skidding
  • As the newscasters say, “Pack Your Patience”–remain calm, drive slowly, maintain a good distance between vehicles, and be courteous to other drivers