Take To The Road Safely During Bad Winter Weather
Be Patient and Prepared Before Tackling Icy Roads
- Wait until snow plows and sanding trucks have covered your route and build in extra time to reach your destination.
- Make sure your car is in top condition, with good tires, working lights, a full tank of gas and an adequate defroster.
- Pack a safety kit with blankets, gloves and hat, plus food and water if you become stranded. And don’t forget your cell phone.
Driving Icy Roads Safely
- Drive slowly and double your following distance to give you time to stop, even if you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
- Keep your lights on to improve your visibility and allow other cars to see you, and wipe your lights and windshield periodically to keep them clear.
- Do not use your cruise control.
- If you must brake, do it gently to avoid a skid. Instead, maintain a slow forward momentum to preserve traction and avoid getting stuck.
- Use low gears on hill climbs and stay back from traffic to maintain momentum.
- Use caution on wet bridges, overpasses and shaded roads, the first places to turn icy, even if temperatures are above freezing.
- Stay away from snow plows and sanding trucks, whose drivers have limited visibility.
Coping With a Skid
- To regain control, take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction of the skid. For example, if your wheels are sliding left, steer to the left, if they’re sliding right, steer to the right.
- Don’t overcompensate on your steering. As your car rights itself, steer slightly left and right until you regain control.
- Go soft on the brakes. Pump standard brakes gently but apply steady pressure to anti-lock brakes and they’ll pulse to a stop automatically.