Publish Date - December 21, 2020
Author: Katie Tejada
Categories:   Useful Automotive Information
How To Plan A Safe Winter Road Trip In Tennessee
Winter road trips are as risky as they are rewarding, which is why most people steer clear of them. Read on to learn how to plan a safe winter road trip for a risk-free and rewarding experience.
Winter road trips are as risky as they are rewarding. By traveling during the winter, you can expect your favorite vacation spots to be less crowded. Most locations traveling tend to lower their accommodation and activity prices to attract more customers. You can also expect more targeted and personalized service than during the peak travel season.
The downside is that you could have to drive through inclement weather, maybe even a snowstorm. Luckily, with the right level of planning, it can be easy to counter these downsides and enjoy more of the benefits instead.
Here’s how you can remain safe while enjoying a great winter road trip in Tennessee:
Plan Your Route Early
No one wants the most memorable part of their road trip to be getting stuck in a snowstorm. You don’t want to waste precious hours trying to find an alternate route because the road you want to take is shut down. That’s why it’s important to be preemptive: do some research before you go. Figure out a plan B in advance and not when you’re sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Google Maps, traffic-related websites, and highway advisory radios are great resources to help you learn your route.
Using more than one resource is a good idea. While you might find updates on road conditions and hazards on Google Maps, it doesn’t always have updated information about the condition of roads in remote areas. Highway advisory radios and traffic-related websites could help you out where Google Maps fails. They provide real-time information about your route. Simply searching “Tennessee road conditions” on Google will provide you with enough links to websites that you can draw information from.
Ensure Your Car Is Ready For Winter Roads
Winter driving conditions require having a well-maintained car, one that is ready to face the elements. If you are only looking to make winter travel a one-time thing, renting a winter-ready vehicle might be enough. However, if you want to make road-tripping a more frequent occurrence, investing in a self-contained RV is ideal. If the thought of purchasing an RV is overwhelming, you can always look into businesses that offer RV loans in Tennessee to finance your vehicle.
No matter which vehicle you are taking, you will need to make sure it’s ready for the road. Here are a few preventative maintenance tips to consider:
Check your tires: worn and slippery tires are a disaster waiting to happen on winter roads. To be safe, invest in winter tires or all-season tires – their soft rubber will facilitate a better grip on the winter roads. You also need to check the tire pressure regularly while on the road.
- Check your brakes: considering the risks that come with winter roads, your car’s brakes are the last thing that should be compromised. Test your brakes early enough to identify issues before you head out on the road. Something as simple as a squeak could mean that you need to repair or replace them soon.
- Ensure you have optimal visibility: snow, ice, and rain can ruin your vision when driving your car. Ensuring you have enough antifreeze fluid and an ice scraper will help improve visibility. When clearing snow from your car, make sure you remove the snow on top of your car to reduce the chances of it falling on your windshield, or onto other cars, as you drive.
Other parts of the car to assess include the lights, thermostat, battery, exhaust system, heater, defroster, and oil level. Sure, you can always call your emergency roadside assistance service provider to help you if your car breaks down. However, learning a little bit of DIY car maintenance could help in extreme conditions – if your phone dies on you, for instance. Having these skills will make it easier to deal with the typical car issues, from a burst tire to damaged lift supports.
Take Care Of Your Communication Needs
The ease with which you can reach out to others for help could be a lifesaver. Share your travel plans and schedule with someone close to you. Update them as you travel along the way. If they don’t hear from you as expected, they will know that something is wrong.
Carry a power bank with you or an extra pair of phone batteries to avoid having your phone die on you during an emergency. If you are traveling on remote routes with poor network coverage, consider buying a satellite phone. Lastly, ensure that you have the contact details of your emergency roadside assistance service provider and myAutoloan insurance offers.
Pack A Winter Emergency Car Kit
You want to take every precaution, and that includes packing an emergency kit in your car. You can either buy prepackaged emergency kits or create your own. Either way, your winter car kit should at least include:
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Several blankets
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit with a pocket knife
- Necessary medication
- Extra clothing like hats, scarves, snow boots, gloves, and jackets
- Basic tools (screwdriver, shovel, and pliers)
- Rain gear
- Bottled water
- Plastic bags
- Brightly colored clothes you can use as a flag
You can add anything else that is unique to you into the emergency kit.
Before You Go
Your level of preparedness will dictate how fast and safely you can get to your destination. In turn, you can have a great time with friends and family, with little to no hiccups. As an additional tip, learning defensive driving could come in handy in helping you remain in control while on the road. There are many beautiful sights in Tennessee to take in year-round, and whether you are going to Nashville or the Smokies, taking a few extra precautions before you leave can make the difference between a trip to remember and a trip to forget.