WINTER DRIVING TIPS

Snow plow on a highway

Winter driving can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when conditions are snowy or icy.

If road conditions are dangerous, consider making alternate travel arrangements or postponing your trip until conditions improve. For the times when you are required to drive, follow these steps to keep yourself safe and collision free during the next few blustery winter months.

STEP 1: MAKE SURE THAT YOU AND YOUR VEHICLE IS PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING; BEING PREPARED IS COOLER THAN YOU THINK.

  • Winter tires are a good option, as they will provide greater traction under snowy or icy conditions.
  • Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car, along with possible emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight.
  • Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before getting onto the road.
  • Keep a blanket, pair of gloves and anything else you’ll need to stay warm in case of a break-down

STEP 2: DRIVE ATTENTIVELY, SMOOTHLY AND SLOWLY: PRETEND YOUR GRANDMOTHER IS IN THE PASSENGER SEAT.

  • Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
  • Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice-covered roads.
  • Don’t tailgate; tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not “pump” the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do its work.
  • Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.

Step 3: BE A DEFENSIVE DRIVER: NOT EVERYONE HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO READ THIS BLOG.

  • When skidding, you need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate and you may lose control of your vehicle.