Driving in Snow for the First Time?
Learning to drive can be stressful enough, but adding hazardous conditions from winter weather can create even more anxiety. We all know that driving in snow can be challenging even for the most experienced drivers. To ease some of your concerns, here are some helpful tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Avoid driving in severely hazardous conditions – even the most experienced drivers should stay home in white-out and blizzard conditions. In situations such as these stay home until the storm passes.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working order – be sure to have plenty of tread on your tires and firm brakes
- Drive Slowly and cautiously – the responsiveness of your vehicle is drastically changed in severe weather and slippery road conditions.
- Increase your stopping distance by at least 6 to 9 seconds – even 10 seconds is highly recommended in icy conditions – this would roughly be the length of a football field between vehicles, as it very well can take that length or more to stop on ice at 40 mph. ( Rule of thumb is it takes 10 times the stopping distance of a normal car on ice.)
- Do not increase speed going up or down a hill – accidents are more common in ice and snow, as well as going around a corner, or going up/down hill due to the loss of control of the vehicle.
- Don’t stop going up hill- remain moving up hill at a constant speed – stopping can cause additional accidents or your car to slide backwards (remember to use low gears when going slow as torque is required to go uphill not speed.)
- Always pack additional emergency equipment. Please visit www.consumerreports.org for a complete winter weather car emergency kit
- Clear windows and lights from ice and snow – one of the largest reasons for accidents in winter weather is due to low visibility.
Also, in the case that you are involved in an accident, stay with your car. Emergency crews need to be able to get to you and be sure that you are okay. Getting out of your vehicle can be more dangerous on any roadway. Taking the extra steps to plan routes ahead of time during severe weather can not only save you time, but can provide you with a safer route as well.
Be safe this winter the “All Star Way”.