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How Winter Affects Your Car’s Stopping Distance

by | Jan 31, 2021 | Driving Habits, Driving on ice, Driving safe, Winter Driving Tips | 0 comments


It’s no secret how tough driving during the winter can be. People encounter loads and loads of crashes and accidents due to slippery roads and a plethora of other problems caused by snow. Snow and ice pose a massive threat to all drivers no matter how skilled they are. They often get compacted inside your tire’s tread, significantly affecting its grip. In cases like these hitting your brake’s abruptly can be quite dangerous and result in serious accidents.

It is a major reason why you should consider increasing your stopping distance to steer clear from danger. Many critics argue that stopping distances came into existence when tires used to be thinner back in the day, and that they are not effective anymore. However, if you practice safe stopping distance during the winter, you will notice that it can be remarkably effective, as long as you can safely steer your vehicle and are in control of its speed.

Why do Snow, Ice and Rain Affect Stopping Distance when Driving?

No one feels confident driving their vehicle in the rain and the main reason behind it is hydroplaning. For those who don’t know, this is a phenomenon where a layer of water accumulates between the road’s surface and your tires. This significantly reduces traction from the road and tires, causing difficulty in controlling the vehicle.

Hitting brakes on a vehicle with compromised traction is not only difficult but very dangerous. You will notice difficulty doing simple things like steering, accelerating, braking etc. The combination of these things affects your vehicle’s stopping distance. Despite that however, you must remain calm and avoid making any sudden movements. Instead, it would be best to pump your brakes as slowly as you can while maintaining a firm grip of the steering wheel.

Similarly, too much ice can also be dangerous for drivers. This is because snow and ice can stick to the tread of your tires, resulting in a compromised grip. What happens because of this is that your stopping distance doubles and hitting your brakes becomes quite dangerous. Experts recommend drivers to turn their car’s in the direction where it is sliding, allowing it to stop naturally.

Steer carefully and Driving

When driving on icy roads, make sure that you steer very smoothly. As mentioned earlier, avoid making any sudden movements and be aware of your surrounding at all times. In case your rear tires aren’t able to maintain their grip during a turn, avoid slamming your brakes or steering too much as it could worsen the situation.

While you can do tons of things to drive safely during winters, it’s important to take your car to a professional repair service to prepare it for slippery roads during winter.