Snowy roads are a fact of life for anyone who lives in one of the country's many cold regions. Depending on where you live, you may be facing anything from occasional light snows to white-out blizzard conditions. Whatever the case, knowing how to prepare for the winter driving season is vital for both your safety and the safety of those around you. While there are some essential preparedness tips you can follow to avoid trouble, it is also crucial to know what to do if you do find yourself stranded. This article will help to ensure that you know how to tackle potential winter driving emergencies.

Know Your Limits

Knowing your limits is perhaps the most important part of making it through the winter safely. If your care is not equipped with snow tires or chains, then avoid driving in particularly hazardous conditions. While all-wheel drive can help to keep you from getting stuck, it won't stop or prevent you from sliding on corners. Tow trucks routinely answer calls from drivers with improper tires for winter driving, and being stranded may be the best-case scenario.

Understand the Three Hazards of Snowy Conditions

There are three situations where snowy conditions may impact your driving: braking, cornering, and accelerating. Your car's ability to brake and corner in slippery conditions is largely a function of your tires, with snow tires performing better than all-season tires. All-wheel drive, traction control, and driver assistance programs can help, but they are no substitute for more specialized tires. Accelerating successfully on slippery roads requires at least one of your drive wheel tires to grip the road successfully. Both all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive can help significantly with this final hazard.

Know When to Call for a Tow

It can be frustrating to realize that conditions have become too severe to make it home, but it is far safer to pull over and wait out a storm than to risk an accident. If you find that you are unable to accelerate, the safest situation is to pull over (if possible) and call for a tow. If your car is simply stuck, then a tow truck can provide a "pull" tow to get you clear of the problem area and send you on your way. However, if your vehicle is having trouble successfully navigating the snow-covered roads, then you will require a traction pull home or to a safe location. The relatively low cost of auto towing is worth it to avoid the dangers of driving a car that is unable to find its footing in inclement conditions.