Driving Safe in the Winter



Driving in snow and ice is inevitable, but it is important to know how to drive when you do encounter these types of road or weather conditions. Before you drive, make sure to clear off any snow from windows, mirrors and the roof. When you brake, snow on top can slide forward and cover your windshield. Also brush snow off your lights, so you have the best light on the road and other drivers can see you. Cut your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle ahead. A rule of thumb is eight to 10 seconds for a good following distance depending on your tire tread, the weight of your car, the road slope, amount of snow on the road and visibility conditions.

Change driving habits

Avoid sudden stops, abrupt downward gear shifts and quick direction changes. Brake gently to avoid skidding or sliding. If the wheels lock up, ease off the brakes. Know what to do before you go into a skid. Skid car classes on how to drive on slick roads are a great idea for young drivers and anyone else traveling by road a lot in winter. The rules for getting out of a skid depend on a lot of factors: whether you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), if you have front- or rear-wheel drive, whether the road is icy, if you’re going downhill, if you have extra weight in your vehicle. Also, the way to drive downhill on packed snow depends on whether you have ABS. If so, start at the top of the hill as slowly as possible.

Use caution when you drive

Remember to use extra caution of those around you when you drive. Stay in your lane, especially when visibility’s bad from driving snow. Give trucks and snowplows plenty of room. Stay well into your lane and don’t follow closely. Big vehicles blow a lot of snow around which lowers visibility. Never pass big vehicles on the right. Debris, rocks and ice that can crack your windshield get sprayed in all directions from snowplows. Don’t drive through snowdrifts. They may cause your vehicle to spin out of control. When it’s snowing, do not use your brights. They will reduce, not improve, road visibility. If you’re noticing snow turn to sleet or ice, turn your defroster into high. If ice builds up on your windshield pull over when you’re in a safe place and use an ice scraper.  Don’t try to squint through a small section of your windshield. Also use extreme caution when approaching off-ramps, bridges and shady spots where snow or ice on the road may be worse. Always remember to never use cruise control in snow or when there’s a chance of ice. It can cause your tires to spin faster when you hit a slick spot then fishtail your vehicle when the tires regain traction. If you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment so we can inspect the vehicle for you, so your vehicle is safe this winter.