What does winter driving have to do with Real Estate? Actually, knowing how to drive in wintery conditions is important for real estate agents, buyers and sellers alike.  For real estate agents and buyers, you have to drive to the property that is being shown.  For sellers, while it’s not required that you leave when your home is shown, it is suggested that you leave so that the buyer can get an unbiased feel for the property.  Here are some tips for safe winter driving.

Give yourself plenty of time. It is important that you give yourself time to get to where you are going.  Road conditions could be slick with snow.  If it takes about 15 minutes to get to your destination, it would be wise to leave about a half hour before you need to be there.  Road ways can become dangerous fast.

 

Drive slowly If the road conditions are slick or snowy, drive slower than normal.  Actually speed limits are just a guideline when it comes to wintery conditions.  You should drive as fast as weather permits (however, this doesn’t mean that you should go over the speed limit).  It is always okay to drive slower than the speed limit.  Driving slower usually gives you more control to stop and maneuver your vehicle.

Give yourself more distance. It is important to follow further behind another vehicle.  Normally the rule is 3-5 seconds or 1-2 car lengths behind someone.  In winter, it is important to lengthen this time to 6-7 seconds or 2-4 car lengths behind someone.  This allows for more time to react if your car or theirs hits ice.

Be Focused. Winter driving is not the time to be multi-tasking in your vehicle.  Whatever you have to do can wait until you have reached your destination.

Have a Kit. It is always a good idea to have a shovel in your car.  It is also a good idea to have a “kit” in your car.  This kit could include a blanket, hand warmers, non-perishable food like an energy bar, road flares, red bandana (for tying to your antenna to make your car more visible), a flashlight, deicer and a good scraper.  Another good thing to have in your car is kitty litter, so that you can lay it under your tires to gain traction.  Having an extra hat, coat and gloves in the car would be helpful if you’re stuck for a long time.

Real estate processes don’t stop for winter weather and neither should you.  Just because it is winter doesn’t mean that you have to stop going places.  It is important to be safe and cautious when driving in winter mix.