Winter driving is not without its own unique set of challenges, dangers and frustrations. When ice or snow begins to build up on the roadways, your driving abilities are put to the test. And while no one, not even the most experienced driver, is completely safe when road conditions are deteriorating, the following list of tips for driving in the snow may help to improve your chances of arriving at your destination safely.
- Tip #1: Stay Home: The best advice is to stay off the roads. When the roads are icy and snowy, avoid making unnecessary trips in your car.
- Tip #2: Clear the Snow from Your Car: While this may seem obvious, this is a rule too many drivers ignore. Do not be content with simply wiping away a strip of snow from your windshield. Instead, to ensure optimal visibility, clear the snow from every window as well as the headlights, taillights and side mirrors. Snow that has collected on the roof and windshield of your car will also affect visibility. So it is best to take the time to remove this as well.
- Tips # 3: Practice: If you are an inexperienced driver, or if this is the first snowfall of the year, consider taking a moment to practice in an empty parking plot. This helps you get a feel for how the vehicle will handle, stop and start during slippery conditions.
- Tip #4 Go Slow: It’s better to arrive late than not at all. So do not be in a hurry, even if other vehicles are speeding on past you. Remember that rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control. Counter this by concentrating on making sure every movement is slow and fluid.
- Tips # 5: Make Room: Simply put, when the road is slick, stopping can take more time than you suspect. To avoid ramming the car in front of you, be sure to allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the other cars on the road.
- Tips #6: Scan the Road Ahead: Road conditions can deteriorate quickly, and black ice can be next to impossible to spot. Don’t let a clear road lull you into a false sense of security. By continually scanning the road ahead, you can anticipate any trouble spots and put yourself in the best position to successfully maneuver through any situation.
Tips #7: Go Easy on the Pedal: This includes both the gas and the brake pedal. When braking, start your stop earlier than normal. This will allow you to gently push the gas pedal, which can offer valuable insight into how the car is responding to any slippery road conditions.