Learn To Drive Safely In Ice And Snow
We may not see a ton of snow in western Kentucky, but we do get plenty of ice in the winter. That’s why it’s crucial for people to know how to drive in wintry weather conditions—because the more drivers who can master that skill, the safer we’ll all be. Check out these tips, and learn to drive safely in ice and snow.
Invest in winter tires.
A quality set of winter tires provides extra traction on the road and will help you maintain more control over your car than all-season tires.
Don’t let your car get too low on gas. You never know when an accident will back up traffic for hours or when you’ll slide off the road yourself. A car can idle all night on a half-tank of gas, so always have plenty to keep you warm while waiting for help.
Maintain your car.
Keep your car in good condition, or it might act up during harsher weather. Replace old batteries before they die, get new wipers, and maintain a good supply of wiper fluid that has a low freezing point. Check your tire pressure, as well, because changing temperatures can deflate tires, and keep your headlights and taillights free of ice and snow. Finally, make sure your cooling system is free of contaminants.
This seems obvious, but you need to reduce your speed on snow and ice and leave at least a 6-to-10-second gap between your car and the one directly in front of you.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
Try your best not to slam on the brakes or step too hard on the gas while driving on snow or ice. You could lose control.
Keep your steering smooth and controlled as you drive. Avoid quick movements.
Know how to deal with skids.
If your front wheels lose traction, ease off the gas and the car should regain control. If your back wheels lose traction, steer into the skid and ease off the gas. Once you gain control, look where you want to go and steer in that direction. Don’t ever slam on your brakes, but you can gently brake if you feel like you can recover. But there’s a lot to skid-recovery, so read more about it before you get behind the wheel.
Know how to use anti-lock brakes.
If you’re skidding into an obstacle and can’t recover normally, you can engage your anti-lock braking system by pushing the brake pedal all the way down and not letting up. This will probably cause your brake pedal to vibrate as the system activates, but that’s perfectly normal. And, even though you’ve engaged the anti-lock system, you can still steer the vehicle around obstacles, so don’t quit driving when you brake.
Of course, before you even pull out of your driveway in the winter, you need to make sure your auto insurance is up-to-date. Fortunately, you can do that online, or you can take care of it by contacting one of our agents.