Winter road conditions can range from minor to unmanageable. Snow, ice, fog, rain, and more can cause interstates and roadways to freeze and thaw, resulting in hazardous driving conditions. Not only does winter precipitation make roads slippery and dangerous, and windshields impossible to see through, the freeze-thaw cycles also deteriorate pavement; thus creating potholes and crumbling concrete, making it even more difficult and dangerous to drive on. It is important for all drivers to review the safety rules for driving in snow, ice, and more. Continue reading to do just that!
Advice for Driving in Snow
When it comes to driving in snow, it is vital to never accelerate or decelerate too abruptly. This will cause skidding and you can easily lose control of the vehicle. Not only does this put yourself and your passengers in danger, it also jeopardizes other drivers on the road. In order to retain traction and not skid, simply put pressure on the gas in a slow and steady manner. If you start to skid, release a little pressure and start again. The same method applies to decelerating. Never slam on the brakes in snow, unless you want to start spinning out of control! In snow, you must practice applying the brake earlier than usual, and doing so in a slow and steady fashion.
Before the snow comes, it is imperative to have your vehicles inspected and serviced by a licensed mechanic to ensure all fluids, tires, and auto parts are ready to go. This includes driving with at least a half of a tank of gas to avoid your car’s gas lines from freezing. Never use cruise control on snowy roads and avoid using the parking brake unless parked on an incline. These are other important safety precautions for winter driving.
Another obvious and important tips for driving in snow is to take your time! Leave early on so you are never in a rush, because driving slow is the most effective way to navigate safely in snow. So not only do you need to accelerate and decelerate slowly, you need to also driver slower than the speed limits suggests. Remember, speed limits are just that, limits. In adverse weather, it is expected of drivers to reduce their speeds below that of the recommended speed limit. Even a little rain can cause a slip up and subsequent car accident.
One mistake many drivers can make in the winter snow is stopping mid-hill or incline. If you are driving up a hill in snow, don’t stop! This can result in your vehicle sliding backward down the hill, possibly into other vehicles. At the same time, do not power-up hills either. Applying more gas to get up a hill can result in sliding and skidding. Simply gain inertia before the hill, and then remain at a consistent and constant speed to make it all the way up.
❄When in Doubt, Just Stay Home!❄
One of the best tips for driving in snow is to just stay home if you can! Of course this is not possible for everyone with jobs, school, kids, and other similar mandatory obligations; however, if you don’t have to leave your home and drive in poor weather, then don’t. If you are forced to drive in poor conditions and find yourself stuck or stranded, simply contact a local 24 hour roadside assistance company for safe and reliable service.