Maximize Winter Driving Visibility With These 10 Tips

by | Dec 21, 2016 | Auto Questions, Auto Tips, Car Safety

Here we are at the winter solstice, December 21, 2016.  It’s the shortest day of the year.  We are commuting in the dark or driving when the sun is low — at dawn in the morning or dusk in the evening — making visibility difficult.  Couple this with fog, mist, ice and snow and driving becomes a real challenge. Here are ten tips or reminders that will help you see better and stay safe.

  1. Check your head lights. Are they both working? Are they aimed correctly?
  2. Check the condition of the headlamps. They should be sparkling clear. When a car gets older, the plastic can turn yellow and dramatically cut down on the power of the headlights. The plastic actually can be restored. Check out this video.


  1. Check the windshield wipers, and clean them. Check out this blog post for cleaning tips. If they still smear replace them.
  2. Clean the inside of all the windows. It’s common for them to build up a film that cuts down on visibility and reflects sunlight making it hard to see.
  3. Do not use the heating and air conditioning in the recycle mode as using it in this mode can cause the inside of the windows to fog up.
  4. Keep a scraper and a long snow brush in the car along with gloves.
  5. Check and see if there is an alternative route to going directly east in the morning and west in the afternoon. Low visibility can dramatically slow traffic. Taking an alternate route, where sun glare doesn’t slow traffic, can make a dramatic difference in the length of a commute.
  6. Test out your rear defroster on the first frosty day if you park your car outside.
  7. On very frosty days allow time for your vehicle to warm up with the front defrost fan on high. Often if it’s very cold, the humidity inside the car will freeze on the inside of the windows.
  8. If you are driving on remote country roads, use your high beam headlamps when no one is coming the other way.

Did you notice a problem that you can’t fix?  Make an appointment; we’ll check it out for you.

Have a safe winter, only three months to spring!


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About the Author

About Brian England

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care), got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD. A few years later, he started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. Brian is a big believe in preventative maintenance, and his philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan.