Snowy road with trees and tire tracks

Driving in winter

How to arrive safely at your destination

Get in, buckle up and drive off - in winter, there's a little more to consider when driving. Do you know how to make your car winter-proof and what to look out for when it's slippery and snowy on the road? Test in this quiz how well you know how to drive in winter. Below you will find the solution and more information and tips about driving in winter.

1. You should do this before the first frost

Even before winter sets in, some things on the car should be checked so that you are not surprised by the cold temperatures.

First of all winter tires are important. In Germany, there is a situational winter tire obligation. This means that there is no prescribed period, but in case of black ice, snow, slush or slippery tires, winter tires must be fitted.

The antifreeze protection from the cooling water should also be checked and refilled if necessary.

When the days are shorter and the weather becomes duller, good visibility contributes significantly to safety on the road. Therefore, clean your windows thoroughly from inside and outside - especially the windscreen. Dirt on the windscreen considerably reduces your visibility when the sun is low in the sky. If rain or snow is added to the problem, it is essential to have fully functional windscreen wipers. Replace them when the wiping performance is no longer optimal. You should also check and maintain the door seals: In winter, they can freeze and even crack.

At low temperatures, especially in older cars, they may not start up again. A quick check of the battery does not hurt.

2. Do it before you leave

  • Plan longer driving time: Avoids unnecessary time pressure in bad road conditions
  • Check headlights: Increasingly poor visibility and shorter days in winter
  • Remove snow and ice from the car completely: snow on the roof can endanger other road users

3. Note during the journey

In principle, it should be said: Never underestimate driving in winter. Not only the obvious dangers like snowfall, fog or darkness are dangerous.

Always keep an eye on the temperature, because even if you start driving at plus degrees, the road can get freezing wet and then it gets slippery! So always keep your distance so that you can brake in time and anticipate and adapt your speed to the road conditions. You can't estimate how slippery the road is? If you are on a straight, free stretch of road or in an empty parking lot, you can use careful braking tests to check whether you are slipping.

This is of course voluntary, but it certainly puts you in a good mood on winter road trips: play the Christmas playlist.

4. Avoid while driving

What you should avoid in slippery conditions are sudden steering movements. If you still skid, disengage the clutch, brake and steer quickly but with feeling.

Apart from particularly tricky situations, you should also follow basic rules in winter: Drive with foresight, watch out for oncoming traffic and, of course, don't forget to look in the side mirror and use your indicators.

5. This should always be with you:

Of course, your car should not be a mobile storage room, but you should be able to store a few things in your car during the winter time:

  • Ice scraper: free scraping of frozen windows
  • Small broom: Removing snow from the car 
  • Sunglasses: Low sun and reflective snow can quickly become a danger
  • Warm blanket: Important in case of breakdown or long traffic jams at minus temperatures

Other gadgets like a nice shopping basket and warming seat covers are of course useful - but optional.

Both in winter and in summer, caution is always required in road traffic. But even the best tips, the most expensive winter tires and most driving experience won't help if the road is glassy: if it's not unavoidable, you should leave the car on dangerously slippery roads and wait for the road patrol to move out and the road conditions to improve. Because the most important thing is: Get there safely!

Did you know all this? Evaluate the quiz here using the solution

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