Winter driving can be daunting, especially in the presence of snow or ice. The steps below will help keep you safe and avoid collisions in the coming winter months as the wind gusts.
Step 1: Prepare the vehicle for winter driving
• Winter tires are a good choice because they provide better traction on ice and snow.
• Keep a scraper and a snow brush in your car, as well as emergency items such as a light shovel, jumper cables and a flashlight.
• Make sure mirrors, windows and roof of your vehicle are free of snow or ice before going on the road.
Step 2: Drive slowly and gently
• Avoid sudden stops and turns when driving, as these maneuvers can cause loss of control and skidding.
• Speeding is the leading cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and safely on roads covered with ice or snow.
Step 3: Do not hobble
• Winter adds to the risk of a driver following the front car too closely. The stopping distance is much longer on icy or snowy roads than on dry pavement; it is therefore necessary to maintain a sufficient distance between your vehicle and that of the front.
Step 4: Brake before turning
• Brake slowly to reduce your speed before turning. Once you have turned, you can accelerate again.
Step 5: Learn how to control skidding
• In a skid situation, you must go against your natural instinct, turn the steering wheel in the direction of skidding and accelerate. This procedure causes the weight to shift from the front to the rear of the vehicle and often allows the driver to regain control of his vehicle.
Step 6: Turn on the lights
• Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility for other drivers.
Step 7: No cruise control
• Never use the cruise control when the road is snowy, icy or wet; if your car is hydroplaning, it will try to speed up and you may lose control.
Step 8: Do not brake in small successive strokes
• If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not brake in small successive strokes, but rather depress the brake pedal and wear the system.
Step 9: Devote all your attention to driving
• It is harder to do some maneuvers in the snow. Be sure to plan your next move so you have plenty of space for turns and stops.
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