Driving in Inclement Weather

With snow, ice, and heavy rain across the United States, it’s critical you know how to drive in these conditions.

The number one suggestion – if you don’t have to go out, stay home.

But, if you do have to drive, here are some tips:

The key to safe driving is being smooth with the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes.  Why?

Jerky movements with the controls easily unstick tires that have a tenuous grip on slippery roads, so every turn of the wheel, push of the brakes, and movements of the throttle must be deliberate, gentle, and gradual.

Look far ahead – which will allow you to anticipate your next move.  Slow way down to make turns.  Allow double the stopping distance when the road is wet, triple on snow, and even more on ice.  Drive with extra concentration.

Deal with the Skids - Sooner or later you will hit a slick spot and get a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach as your car starts to slide away from the direction in which you want to be heading. Skids, even big ones, can be managed, and you can bring the car back under full control in short order. First, don’t panic—and don’t stab the brakes.  Instead, do the following: 

For a front-wheel skid—where the front tires lose grip and the car turns in a wider arc than you expect—ease off the gas. In a beat or two, the front tires should regain traction. Then aim where you want to go as your traction returns.

For a rear-wheel skid—where the rear tires lose traction and you feel yourself beginning to spin out, quickly turn the steering wheel in the same directionthat the rear is sliding. If, say, the rear is swinging to the left, turn the wheel to the left. Ease off the accelerator and stay off the brakes. As the rear wheels regain traction, steer back in the original direction. 

All-Wheel Drive – don’t be lulled into a false sense of security on slick roads.  These systems do not improve your vehicle’s ability to turn or stop in snow or icy conditions, so follow the instructions above.

Have salt, a shovel, and/or a tow strap as part of your emergency kit in your trunk.

For more tips, got to Kelley Blue Book at https://www.kbb.com/car-news/20-tips-for-safe-winter-driving/

Above all, be safe.

Source: Car and Driver