WASHINGTON--Winter storms can pop up at any point as weather patterns constantly fluctuate this time of year. To better prepare for winter weather conditions, GEICO reminds drivers not to fall for the below misconceptions related to winter driving.

Winter Driving Misconceptions

If my windows are clear, it’s fine to proceed:

In addition to cleaning snow off all windows, drivers need to focus on the roof of the car as well. Chunks of snow and ice can fly off once a car starts moving, and they can hit other nearby vehicles potentially creating a hazard. Also, remember to clear around the headlights and taillights to maximize the visibility of your vehicle to other drivers. Don’t forget about the hood, as snow from there can start to blow back onto your own windshield when you reach normal roadgoing speeds.

The condition of my tires doesn’t matter:

Riding on worn tires when roads get slippery greatly increases the chances of a vehicle skidding out. Check the tread levels on your tires by locating the wear indicator, which is a raised section in between the treads according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If the tire tread is worn down even with the wear indicator bar, then it’s time to buy a new set of tires.

Since my car has all-wheel-drive, it’s ok to go normal speeds:

An all-wheel-drive system can help a car accelerate better in slippery conditions; however, it does not provide much added benefit when it comes time to stop. Even if drivers feel extra confident with an all-wheel-drive system, they still need to take it slow in treacherous conditions so they don’t put themselves at risk of sliding when they brake.

To fully prepare for winter driving conditions, always keep supplies handy in your vehicle such as an ice scraper, a snow shovel, jumper cables, a flashlight, a blanket and a spare phone charger in case you get caught in severe traffic for several hours.

For more safe driving tips, visit GEICO's Car Safety and Insurance page on GEICO More.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles. For more than 80 years, the company has worked to make people’s lives better by protecting policyholders against unexpected events. As GEICO has grown, it has delivered money-saving coverage and outstanding customer service to policyholders through its investment in human resources and technology. GEICO is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.