5 Tips for Driving in the Snow

Driving safely in the snow

5 Tips for Driving in the Snow

Perhaps one of the best tips for driving in the snow is to stay home, if you can—thus avoiding the roadway altogether. On a wintry day, with the snow softly falling, you might opt to snuggle up in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.

If you’re not used to driving in the snow and can stay home during that snowstorm, take the safe option. However, if you must go out and you see heavy snow blanketing the roads, use these tips to arrive safely at your destination.

Give yourself time

The first tip is to reduce your speed. Drive slowly and calculate that slower pace into your travel schedule, so that you don’t feel rushed. It takes more time to slow down on the slippery surface of snowy roads. If you’re going at a slower speed, braking will be less stressful. When you need to make a turn or go around a curve, lower your speed even more, and do so far in advance of the actual curve. To avoid sliding, brake slowly and evenly.

Keep it smooth

When ice or snow cover the roadway, drive as smoothly as possible. To accelerate, press lightly and evenly on the gas pedal until you reach your goal speed. Keep the same idea in mind for braking. Keep your foot firmly on the brake, even when you feel the anti-lock braking system kick in. Don’t apply fast pressure.

If you start to skid

If you feel your vehicle skidding, stay calm. A calm mind will allow you to think clearly and deal with an emergency. Resist the urge to wildly turn the steering wheel, since your vehicle will not behave on snow or ice as it does on a clean road surface.

When your vehicle starts to skid, turn your wheel into the spin, keep your eyes on where you want to go, and accelerate gently. Don’t ever slam on the brakes, which would propel your vehicle out of control.

Proper tires

Depending on how frequently snow falls where you live or travel, you might want to consider purchasing winter tires, also called snow tires. They help your vehicle maintain traction even when there’s a layer of snow or ice on the road.

Keep your distance

Since maintaining complete control over your vehicle in winter weather can be difficult, one of the safest of these safety tips is to stay far away from the vehicle in front of you. This helps you to avoid crashing into it if the other vehicle stops abruptly.

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