11 ice-cold keys to driving this winter

If you believe decades of Top 40 artists, snow is the most romantic substance on earth. Some of them even made a whole career out of a single song about it. In their lyrics, winter romance has no bounds. Lovers walking through the snow. Frolicking, even! Delicate flakes falling against pressed lips. They’ve even managed to turn avoiding the snow into an evening curled up in front of a fire. Yet among all those love songs, no one has managed to write a hit about winter driving. Apparently they can’t find a single romantic thing about skidding off the road into a ditch. Sad.

 Car Driving down Snowy RoadPhoto by White Field Photo on Unsplash

Needless to say, winter conditions can make driving extremely stressful. Since launching Toggle® Auto we’ve been a little obsessed with helping drivers in any season. So we’ve got a whole bunch of tips to help you winterize your car and, hopefully, get through winter without having to file an auto insurance claim.

Snow Covered Road - Toggle Auto Insurance Photo by jack murrey on Unsplash

1.  Slow your roll

Is this a low-hanging icicle? Yep. Does it make us sound like a naggy parent? Absolutely. But when the temperature drops, taking it slow is absolutely the responsible thing to do. Speed is the enemy when the roads get harsh. So take this opportunity to cruise and smell the snowses. Take your speed down a tick. Arrive a few minutes later than expected. After all, you never know when a patch of black ice is waiting to make its big debut.

Woman Driving CarPhoto by Jantine Doornbos on Unsplash

2.  Stay gentle like Granny

Confession: When it comes to insurance, we totally get the need for speed. It’s the whole reason we created our instant auto insurance process. We’ll pedal-mash pixels all day. But we go easy on the pedals especially the second there’s snow and ice on the ground, to stay alert and in control. You should, too. A great way to help avoid the big skid is to give yourself twice the time you’d normally use to accelerate and decelerate. It might feel funny at first. But who knows, you may enjoy the inner-granny you never knew before.

Snowplow Cleaning Off Road Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

3.  Respect the plow

If you think driving in snow and ice is hard, imagine doing it with a 1,000-lb blade strapped to your front bumper. Challenging a snowplow to a mid-blizzard showdown is a one-way road to oofffville. So unless you enjoy having an auto insurance phone number on speed dial, let the snowplow do its thing to help make the roads safer for us all.

Person’s Legs Standing in Snow Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

4.  Make good footwear choices

Tires are just shoes a car can’t remove. That makes slapping on some snow tires like giving your car a great set of boots. Always a good choice. But if you’re not ready for that tire swap life, properly inflated tires are extra important. Set your tire pressure 5 psi higher than your summer pressure to keep yourself extra safe.1

Small Snowman   Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash 

5. Love that clump

What happens if a determined pile of slush or snow decides it wants your car to stay with it forever? Easy. You pop the trunk and pull out your trusty bag of kitty litter. The clumping power that makes scooping up after little Barbra so easy can provide the traction you need to get unstuck. Sand can get you out of a pinch, too. Either option is better than having to resort to sticking a water bottle under a tire to try to get yourself out of a ditch.

Woman Curled Up in Blankets in CarPhoto by Sam Manns on Unsplash

6. Speaking of trunk junk

Keep an emergency bag right next to that kitty litter. Fill it up with the stuff you need to get through a surprise blizzard. Like a flashlight, candles, matches, portable phone charger, snazzy blanket, maybe even a nice book. It’s easy. And now you’re ready for a romantic evening of waiting for roadside assistance.

Car Sitting on Snow Covered Road at Night - Toggle Auto InsurancePhoto by Kardemon Digital Agency on Unsplash

7. One last rear-end tip

And it’s another one to do before you get on the roads. We’re asking you to get personal with your exhaust pipe. You definitely don’t want those fumes making their way inside your car. Make sure to always check if it’s blocked by snow and ice. It’s also smart to do regular checks for rust and cracks. After all, road salt never met an undercarriage it didn’t want to eat.

Car Parked on Ice and People Taking PhotosPhoto by Trevor McKinnon on Unsplash

8.  Salt, your car’s ultimate hater

If pro wrestlers want a lesson in heel turning, they should spend some time with road salt. One minute it’s out there melting ice and giving snow the business. The next it’s gnawing its way through your car’s precious paint and undercarriage. So this year try waxing your car right before winter, and practicing good auto hygiene during the salty months does wonders. It might just save you a late-night panic search asking, “Will car insurance cover rust?” The answer is typically no.

Ice Covered Windshield - Toggle Auto InsurancePhoto by Charles Loyer on Unsplash

9.  Upgrade your blade game

Welcome to the exhilarating world of seasonal-specific wiper blades and wiper fluid. Good, fresh blades and cold-weather fluid help keep your windshield from becoming an absolute smudge fest. Make this changing of the blades a yearly ritual. And if you haven’t changed either for a while, hey, why not today? This is a low-stakes auto repair we’re pretty certain you can nail.

Yellow Car Covered in SnowPhoto by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

10.  Swish swish. Scrape scrape.

Just when you thought snow brushes and ice scrapers weren’t going to make the list. You probably have both of these. Or maybe even have a nifty combo of the two. (You know we love a great combo.) However, they’re more than floorboard decorations. Fish your scraper out from under the passenger seat to take care of the snow and ice before you hit the roads. Or, better yet, keep it inside your home so you can start deicing the second you step up to your ride.

Person Holding Cup of CoffeePhoto by Alex Padurariu on Unsplash

11.  Finally, a shameless plug

We had to do it. Obviously we think auto insurance coverage is important for winter conditions. And all other conditions. It’s a requirement in almost every state. Plus you have a lot of car insurance companies to choose from! We might be biased, but we don’t think any of them stack up against Toggle Auto’s instant quotes and customizable coverage. If Toggle Auto is live in your state, we think the choice is clear.

Road and Forest Covered in Snow - Toggle Auto Insurance Instant QuotesPhoto by Filip Zrnzević on Unsplash


1 https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=168#:~:text=Several%20vehicle%20manufacturer's%20owner's%20manuals,summer%20and%20all%2Dseason%20tires

The information included in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional or expert advice. It is based on research and the collective experiences of the Toggle Team and has not been verified by any academic institutions, government organizations, or world-renowned scholars, but it does make a lot of sense and we do hope you find it useful.  We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what’s appropriate for you.

Links to third-party websites are provided for your convenience only. Toggle has not independently verified any of the information provided therein and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of such information or any content.

Related Articles

Car buying tips: getting ready for the face-off

Buying cars can feel high stakes. For you and the seller. With these car shopping tips, we think you’re bound to win every car buying face-off.

Reimagining self-care through DIY car-care

Car maintenance is a beautiful act of self-care. Incorporate self-car-care into your routine for sustained automated wellness.

6 dog-friendly car features pups love

Car shopping? Your canine companion would like to have some input too. The best cars for dogs have these terrific features.