Closeup of car tires in winter on the road covered with snow

Driving conditions in Montana can be difficult any time of the year, but the winter months bring a whole new set of challenges for drivers trying to make their way from one destination to another.

Here are some things you can do to help you deal with falling temperatures, icy roads, perilous winds and dangerous snow.

  • If you are tired or fatigued, don’t get behind the wheel.
  • Don’t warm up your car or truck in an enclosed area such as your garage.
  • If you’re driving on a wet or slippery surface such as rain, ice or snow, do not use your vehicle’s cruise control.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times to help keep your gas line from freezing up.
  • Make it a habit to fasten your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • Clean off your entire car before you hit the road. Your visibility will be much better than if you simply scrape off a small area of your windshield. As a result, you will be safer, and so will other drivers and pedestrians who might cross your path.
  • Have an expert such as Eagle Tire and Auto Repair, which serves the Helena and Bozeman areas of Montana, check to make sure you tires are properly inflated, your battery is in tiptop shape, your windshield wipers are working well and your coolant is strong enough to do its job.

“These might all seem like little things, but they will help keep you safe during our Montana winters,” said Phil Sebastian, owner of Eagle Tire.

If you live in Montana, you’re going to have to learn to drive in the snow. Here are some precautions you should take whenever you venture out into the weather.

  • To avoid skidding and possibly sliding off the road, always speed up and slow down slowly.
  • If you must be somewhere at a specific time, give yourself plenty of time to get there.
  • Don’t stop unless you have to stop. If possible, slow down enough so that you can keep rolling until a traffic light changes to green.
  • Hills can be difficult. Try to get a little momentum before you reach a hill. If your foot is too heavy on the gas pedal, it will only cause your wheels to spin. When you get to the top of the hill, slow down and drive down hill as slowly as you can.
  • Consider purchasing a set of snow tires. All-weather tires are acceptable for all conditions, but snow tires are made specifically for driving on the cold, wet and icy Montana’s roads during the winter months.
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Regardless of how careful you are and what shape your vehicle is in, you face the possibility that your car or truck will break down or get stuck in the snow. To be prepared, you should always carry a cell phone, blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any medication you might need when you travel in the winter.

To learn more about how you can prepare your car for driving through snow and ice this winter, stop by your nearest Eagle Tire location or visit EagleTireOnline.com – no appointment needed! Or, you can call 406-443-5910 in Helena or 406-587-5415 in Bozeman.

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