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How to Drive in Ohio’s Weather Conditions

Here's what you need to know...
  • Ohio enjoys all four seasons, whereby drivers can experience all types of weather conditions on the roadways
  • Travel with a well-equipped emergency kit so that you’ll be prepared if you wind up stranded
  • Shop around for better car insurance coverage and lower premiums once every six months

Located on the southern side of Lake Erie, Ohio has a temperate climate with cold winters and warm summers. The southern part of the state is typically warmer, but all regions will see regular snowfall throughout the winter months.

Summer high temperatures will quickly reach into the 80s, and residents spend the winter months living with below freezing temperatures.

The seasons follow the typical pattern with icy roads lasting from January through March and even into April. The spring season from April into June is mild and refreshing, and the hot summer temperatures roll in from July to September. October arrives with gradually cooling temperatures, and the fall season lasts into December.

Ohio drivers have to deal with all types of weather conditions, including fog, high winds, heavy rains, and driving snow.

People in Ohio are encouraged to make sure that their cars are ready for all types of weather so that they can stay safe on the road.

When you have the right supplies on hand, you’ll be ready for almost anything that Mother Nature can send your way.

If you are looking to travel to Ohio soon and want to be adequately covered, start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code above!

Get Your Car Ready

The first step is to invest in regular tune-ups and safety inspections. The big concern is being stranded on the roadway in a snowstorm, so most people get their cars checked before winter storms arrive.

Ensuring your vehicle’s safety should include:

  • Checking the radiator coolant and condition of belts
  • Switching to a lighter weight oil if recommended by the manufacturer
  • Checking all headlights, tail light, and turn signal bulbs
  • Having tires checked for overall wear
  • Inspecting brakes
  • Have the battery tested to be sure that it’s ready for the cold weather
  • Keeping window washer fluid reservoirs filled and checking the condition of wiper blades

Even if you take all the necessary precautions, there’s still the chance that you might wind up stranded on slick roads or struggling with a dead battery. Ideally, you want to be prepared for spending a few hours trapped on an icy road while you wait for help to arrive.

Make sure that you have an emergency kit on hand with:

  • Extra blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Flashlight, extra batteries, and emergency flares
  • Extra clothing, such as hat, gloves, scarf, and shoes
  • First aid kit and emergency medications
  • Jumper cables and a basic set of tools
  • Small snow shovel and rope
  • Bottles of water and some emergency snacks

You can store everything in your trunk for easy access when you need it the most. Rotate out any food items every few months so that you won’t have to worry about having expired foods on hand when an emergency arises.

How to Handle Different Weather Conditions

People in Florida don’t typically have to worry about icy roads, but drivers in Ohio must be ready for anything. Here are some tips to help you deal with the different conditions that you’ll find in this region:

– Snow or Icy Roads

Keep a full tank of gas whenever possible in case you’re ever stranded.

When driving on icy roads, slow down and increase following distances. Rather than just hitting the brakes when you have to stop, gently pump them to help grip the road.

If you do go into a skid, ease off the gas and continue steering in the direction you want to go.

– Severe Thunderstorms

It’s estimated that 15 percent of accidents occur in heavy rain, so drivers need to know how to respond to these challenging conditions. When in snow, drivers should slow down and increase their following distances.

Keep headlights on for greater visibility, and drive in center lanes to avoid running off.

When possible, avoid puddles and tread lightly when forced to go through them in case the car hydroplanes. Do not use cruise control, and follow the tire tracks of the car in front of you.

– Tornadoes

Twisters can occur in the Ohio Valley and throughout the state. In fact, many cities have warning sirens so that residents can get to a safer spot in the event of a touchdown.

If you’re in the car when a warning comes on the radio, try to get to the lowest level of a sturdy building that may be nearby. If necessary, you may have to abandon the car and lie flat in a low spot, such as a culvert.

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What Will Aid You in Bad Weather?

Even the most careful drivers can get into accidents when the weather is bad. Slick roads are hard to navigate, and your driving skills will provide you with limited benefit.

Additionally, drivers may not be able to avoid another car that’s spinning out of control or has not left an appropriate following distance.

People in Ohio are encouraged to double check their policies to ensure that they have the right level of coverage.

You want to have an insurance policy that provides you with the coverage you need, a good reputation for covering claims, and sound financial health.

Finding the right coverage will require shopping around. The process is easy when you use an online comparison tool. You can review three or four policies to see which one best suits your needs.

Before you start looking at premiums, be sure that you’re asking for the right coverage levels.

– Comprehensive Plans

Ohio requires that you carry liability insurance for property damage and injuries, but these plans won’t cover damage to your car if you cause an accident, and they don’t cover storm damage. Comprehensive coverage is what you must have if you want to cover damage to your car that occurs in a storm.

Comprehensive coverage is actually for everything that’s not related to an accident, including: 

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Falling objects
  • Animal damage
  • Weather

This coverage will take care of your car if it’s tossed around in a tornado, hit by a falling branch on a windy day, or damaged by a snow plow while it’s parked outside of your house.

Different factors will impact your comprehensive premiums, including your claims history, the region you live in, and your deductible. You can lower the cost by requesting higher deductible levels, and you also may be able to save by shopping around for a better plan.

Ideally, you should check out the rates with other companies about once every six months. Comparing rates this often will allow you to find the best rates and take advantage of better programs.

– Roadside Assistance


Many insurance companies offer roadside assistance coverage so that you’ll be reimbursed for getting help when you break down. Some companies have their own team that will come out to help you, and others simply send a local town company and will reimburse you for the cost.

You can request roadside assistance for all types of situations, including: 

  • Dead batteries
  • Flat tires
  • Running out of gas
  • Sliding off the road

If your car breaks down, you can have it towed to a nearby shop, and you can have your car pulled out of a snowbank if you slide and get stuck. The cost with most companies is typically only a few dollars a month, and many drivers in Ohio find the peace of mind to be well worth the investment.

– Life-Threatening Situations


There are times when drivers in Ohio can find themselves in life-threatening situations.

These scenarios can include being trapped in a car that’s blocking traffic or being caught out in a snowstorm in a stranded car.

Roadside assistance is the right call to make when your car is in a safe spot and you are not at risk for further injury. However, if you cannot get your vehicle to a safe location or you there are injuries, then you’ll want to call 911 for help.

Protect Your Investment With the Right Insurance

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There are numerous companies authorized to provide insurance in Ohio, and you may be able to find lower rates with a competitor.

Rather than making countless phone calls and sitting on hold, use a comparison tool to review offers and choose the best plan for your needs.

Comprehensive insurance is a more expensive level of coverage, but it’s often necessary in a state where drivers frequently have to deal with rain, winds, snow, and ice.

If you will be in Ohio soon and want to be fully covered, try comparing three to four policies to find the best auto insurance for you! Enter your ZIP code below to get started!

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