There’s so much to love about wintertime. From snow-covered winter wonderlands to sports like skiing and ice skating, it’s a whole ‘nother world out there. However, this new season also brings a new set of rules for drivers. Snow, ice, freezing rain, and sleet can quickly create hazardous roads and scary driving conditions.
Some of you have probably experienced that heart-stopping feeling of your car skidding on ice or snow, especially if you’re skidding off the road or into oncoming traffic. Check out these tips for safe driving in winter weather, so you can help prevent ever having to experience that again.
Just by driving smoothly on winter roads, you’ll have made your winter driving trips much safer. When we say “driving smoothly”, what we mean is not making any sudden movements, turns, or jerks of the steering wheel, or any other sudden action that could cause you to loose control. In general, the smoother you drive on winter roads, the safer you’ll be.
BE AWARE OF ALL OTHER CARS ON THE ROAD
Always be checking your mirrors or watching in your peripheral vision so you know where all other cars on the road are. Just by being aware of a car that might potentially pull out right in front of you or someone coming up behind you too quickly at a stoplight, you’ll likely be able to prevent a few accidents. While you might be a good driver yourself, there are likely a few bad drivers on the highway with you. Be aware, and always give yourself space to get out of the way.
COME TO A GRADUAL STOP
When coming up to a stop sign, stop light intersection, or stopped traffic, always give yourself plenty of time to slow down, and slow down gradually. By taking your foot off of the gas well before the intersection, you’ll avoid having to use your brakes as much. Never leave it to the last second and then slam on your brakes. Leave enough space in front of you so that if you need to get out of someone’s way who is skidding up behind you, you can.
DON'T SLAM YOUR BRAKEStips for safe driving in winter
Slamming on your brakes on slick roads is almost guaranteed to throw your vehicle out of control. If you feel like you’re heading towards trouble, slowly let off of the accelerator. This should allow you to regain control of your vehicle.
Just because the speed limit is 55 doesn’t mean you have to drive that fast when the roads are bad. Driving too fast can cause you to skid or slide and lose control of your vehicle. Driving slower not only gives you more control over your vehicle, but gives you more time to react to other drivers and things like deer crossing the road.
Don’t follow other cars too closely. In bad road conditions, you’ll need more time to stop safely. You can do this simply by putting more space between you and the vehicle in front of you. While in summer it’s recommended to have 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you, you may want to increase that to 6 seconds, or even longer, depending on how bad road conditions are.
We hope these tips help you stay safe on the road this winter! If you notice your tires aren’t gripping the road like they used to, or your brakes seem to not work as well as they should, give us a call or stop by today.