santa in a car.

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

If you plan to travel this holiday season, snow and ice may put a damper on your plans. Inclement weather can make driving more hazardous. While it’s always better to be safe than sorry (stay home if you have to), those who decide to venture out onto the roadways should take extra precautions. Here are four winter weather driving tips to help get you through the holidays.

1. Keep Snow and Ice Off Your Windshield

If you’re expecting a bout of snow or ice overnight, take precautions the night before to keep your windshields clear and ready to go.

Here are some hacks to make your winter morning routine easier:

  • Wrap freezer bags around your side mirrors to insulate against ice.
  • Put socks over your windshield wipers to keep snow and ice off.
  • A 3:1 vinegar/water mixture can keep ice from forming on your windshield.
  • Park your car facing east, so the rising sun melts the snow and ice for you.

Keeping snow and ice off your windshield means you can get started with your day much faster than if you let Mother Nature take its course.

2. Check Your Wipers

Windshield wipers are one of the most important safety features on a vehicle, especially in poor weather conditions. If you can’t see the road in front of you, you shouldn’t be driving.

Before heading out on the road, check your wipers to make sure they’re in good working condition. If you see signs of wear or streaks on the windshield, it may be time to replace your wipers. Squeaky wipers should also be replaced as soon as possible.

When looking for new wipers, consider buying blades that are resistant to cracking from ozone exposure. These types of wipers are more durable, can withstand extreme weather and offer a more uniform wipe.

Some wiper blades even have a beam design that resists ice and snow build-up.

3. Remove Ice from Your Windshield and Roof

Ice makes it impossible to see clearly through the windshield, especially when a thick layer has formed. Most people assume that they only have to scrape the ice from their windshield, but you should also remove ice from your roof.

Leaving ice on your roof can pose as a safety hazard on the road, particularly when you’re dealing with thick layers of ice. It’s possible that the ice on your roof could dislodge while you’re driving and crash into the windshield of the car traveling behind you.

This exact scenario can and has happened. The last thing anyone wants to deal with in winter weather is having to make a windshield repair. Be courteous to other drivers and remove as much ice as you can from your vehicle – especially the ice on the roof.

If you don’t have a scraper, you can use a credit card or a metal spatula to remove snow and ice from your car.

4. Take Advantage of Winter Weather Features

Many newer vehicles on the road today have special features that make winter driving just a little bit easier and safer. These features include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Heated seats, mirrors and steering wheels
  • Engine block heater
  • Headlight wipers
  • Remote start
  • Wiper de-icers
  • Winter tires

If you don’t have these features equipped in your vehicle, you may be able to add them to make winter driving just a little less daunting this holiday season.