Winter Driving Putting You Edge? Here Are Some Safety Tips

Being on the road when there’s ice or snow can rattle the best of us. In the moment, it can be hard to know what to do if you start to skid or feel like you are losing control. That’s why it’s best to be informed and prepared beforehand. We hope these tips make this winter a little safer for you. 
One easy way to remember how to stay safe is the acronym ADC
Stay ALERT. Slow DOWN.Stay in CONTROL. 

driving in the snow

Staying alert

  • Be mindful of road conditions. Remember, it takes longer to slow down on ice.
  • Increase your following distance by five to six seconds.  
  • Remember that salt and sand affect the road differently. Salt causes snow and ice to melt. Sand does not; it just helps with traction. 
  • Keep an eye out for accidents and other drivers. 
  • Look out for snowplows and sand trucks. Don’t try to pass them. 

Slowing down

  • Lower your speed due to lower traction on ice and snow. One expert recommends imagining that you are driving in slow motion. Another says to drive as if you are tiptoeing on ice. 
  • If you are going faster than you should and want to slow down, decelerate slowly. 
  • When you brake, do so by slowly applying pressure from the ball of your foot. 

Staying in control

  • Avoid sudden stops. 
  • Don’t slam on the brakes. 
  • If you start to slip or skid, slowly turn the steering wheel in your desired direction.   
  • Don’t hit the brakes. 

Before you go…

  • Have a mechanic check your battery, ignition system, belts and hoses, radiator, oil, breaks, and exhaust system.  
  • Check your tires, fuel tank, windshield wipers, and heater and defroster system.  
  • Prepare an emergency kit with food, water, warm clothing, a flashlight, blankets, shovel, ice scraper, batteries, and first aid.
  • Check road conditions. If you can find an empty parking lot nearby check the surface conditions. Find your comfort level with speed and braking before you get out on the road. 
  • Don’t go if the forecast calls for bad weather!

Sources: SafeMotorist.comAAACar and Driver, and Thrillist.