With the rain, sleet, and snow on the way it’s time to brush up on some of the basic driving safety tips for winter weather. While driving can already be a dangerous endeavor there’s nothing like poor conditions to augment the risk. This time of year almost always sees a big spike in driving related accidents so it’s best to be prepared with the proper know how to deal with the conditions. Here we’ll look at some basics to stay safe in your motor vehicle during the coming winter and how to be prepared to any unfortunate mishaps.
There are some basic rules that you can use to help stay safe while driving during the winter time. These are applicable in almost all scenarios and not necessarily limited to only winter driving.
Perhaps the most important rule for winter driving is to avoid sudden driver inputs. The trick is doing things slow and gentle. When you turn, stop, or accelerate quickly your car will have a tendency to lose traction and you may lose control.
Recovering From a Slide
If you find that your car is sliding out of control on a slippery surface it’s important to know how to deal with the situation. While your first impulse may be to slam on the breaks this is going to even further reduce your traction and may lead to an accident. The first thing that you should do is ease off the throttle and keep your front wheels pointed in your intended direction. The next thing you need to do is get the driven wheels turning at road speed. This can be accomplished by holding the clutch in a manual or putting an automatic in neutral to take the engine out of the equation. Lastly you can gently apply the breaks. This should be able to put you in a manageable position when dealing with a slide on slippery surfaces.
Terrain and Conditions
An important part of winter driving is knowing the terrain and the conditions and how to deal with it. Be especially careful of bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads which are usually the first to freeze. If you think you may be driving in deep snow be prepared with chains and know how to put them on. Sometimes you may have to deal with low visibility. Keep your lights and windshield clean, use your low-beams, and reduce speed.