Okay y’all, we need to talk about how to drive in snow/slush/icy conditions. Yesterday & again this morning we saw too many vehicles in ditches, going the wrong way due to ice, and well, hugging trees. It’s possible that we’ll experience similar conditions before spring arrives. Let’s all take some time to review how to drive by reading page 3, Know Your Car section from the NHTSA’s Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving. This is a PDF that is located on the Winter Driving section of Driving Safety. Just in case you are unable to open the PDF, here are the important points:
- Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.
- A word of caution about braking: Know what kind of brakes your vehicle has and how to use them properly. In general, if you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure. If you don’t have antilock brakes, pump the brakes gently.
- Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go if you find yourself in a skid. Stay off the pedals (gas and brake) until you are able to maintain control of your vehicle. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front.
- Practice cold weather driving when your area gets snow — but not on a main road. Until you’ve sharpened your winter weather driving skills and know how your vehicle handles in snowy conditions, it’s best to practice in an empty parking lot in full daylight.
While we’re on the topic of winter, here are some winter weather safety resources:
Stay warm, drive safely, & be considerate!