Safe Driving in Winter

Winterize Your Vehicle

Always be prepared for driving in winter conditions. Use these tips as guidelines to help prepare your vehicle for safe driving.


  • Check the tires on your vehicle to ensure that they are properly inflated and have a safe tread depth. 
    • In Ohio, 2/32 of an inch is the legal allowable minimum.
    • For snow and ice conditions it is recommended that motorists maintain a minimum of 5/32 of an inch to ensure traction and tire adhesion to wet or snowy roads.

Windshield Wipers

  • Check to ensure that you have working and functional windshield wipers. Verify that the wiper blades are in good condition and that they properly adhere to the windshield surface.
  • Check your windshield washer fluid levels. Wet, salty mixes can be sprayed on your windshield from cars and trucks in front of you, impairing your ability to see clearly. 
    • It is best to keep a spare bottle of windshield washer fluid in the trunk of your car.


  • Check your vehicles lights to ensure the following are all in proper working order:
    • Brake Lights
    • Flashers
    • Headlamps
    • Tail Lamps
    • Turn Signals
  • Many service stations and oil change locations perform complimentary checks of these for motorists. You can also ask a friend or neighbor to check them while you activate them to ensure they are working properly.

Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles

Four-Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive are not guaranteed to prevent your vehicle from losing traction. You must know how to operate your vehicle safely even if utilizing 4 wheel drive or all-wheel drive. These vehicles can still become stuck in the snow, so be prepared.

If Your Vehicle Becomes Stuck on the Road

Safe Exit

Should your car become stuck on the road, never exit the vehicle abruptly. Always check to make sure there is a clear path that will allow you to exit safely.

Personal Preparation

Keep your cellular phone charged and on hand at all times in case of an event that you require assistance. Also, it is a good idea to carry these items in the vehicle in case your car gets stuck in the snow:

  • Extra pair of gloves
  • Small shovel
  • Spare blanket
  • Warm hat
  • Winter boots