Stay Safe With These Winter Driving Tips
Driving in wintry, stormy weather is stressful and dangerous, so arming yourself with some basic driving strategies will help protect you out there. These winter driving tips are just what you need:
Driving in Snow
- Avoid it, if possible. Why chance getting in an accident or stranded unless you really need to be out on the road?
- Go slow. You need a lot more time for your car to respond when you’re driving on snow-covered roads.
- Accelerate slowly. That goes for braking, too. If you put your foot on the gas slowly, it gives your car time to generate some traction. And when you slow down, remember you’re going to need a lot more time to come to a stop.
- Don’t follow closely. Since your car won’t stop as quickly, create more space than usual between your car and the car in front of you, at least eight or ten seconds.
- Try not to stop. It’s difficult to get your car going again from a full stop in the snow, so try to roll through stops if you can. Definitely don’t stop while you’re going up a hill, or you might not get going again.
- Speaking of hills, try to get some speed at the bottom before you head up because you don’t want to apply a lot of power up a hill. Let the inertia carry you, and slow down as you come to the top.
- Use the threshold braking technique, which means keeping your heel on the floor and the ball of your foot applying steady pressure to the brake pedal.
- Avoid cruise control and using your parking brake because you need as much traction as possible on slippery surfaces.
Proceed With Caution
- Make sure your car is winter-ready:
- Tires properly inflated
- Four of the same type of tires
- Gas tank at least half full
- Don’t warm up your car in a garage or enclosed space.
- Pay attention to weather reports, and plan accordingly.
- Always have your cell phone and a winter kit including blankets, gloves, water, and cash.