Winter Driving Tips that will Keep You Safe

Winter Driving Tips that will Keep You Safe
Winter Driving Tips that will Keep You Safe

As much as we’d love to take the season off work and stay indoors, this isn’t a practical solution for the majority of folks out there. Whether your commute is 3 minutes or 30, an accident can happen in a split second. It’s always important to drive safely, but the wintertime throws down more of a challenge with each inch of snow or ice that accumulates.

Following the tips mentioned below will help keep you safe on the road, as well as everyone else out there around you struggling to make it to their destination on time:

• Never rely on cruise control while driving through slippery, wintry conditions.

•    Accelerate and decelerate slowly. The best way to avoid regain traction or avoid a full skid is to use slow, steady pressure on the brake or gas pedal. This also means to slow down much sooner when approaching stop signs or lights.

•    The normal 3 to 4 second rule regarding following distance between cars should be increased to 8 to 10 seconds in wintry conditions.

•    Understand your brake system. If you have to slow down fast and have anti-lock brakes (ABS), press down hard on the pedal – the pedal will vibrate, which is normal when ABS is activated.

Along with these tips, make sure you are well rested before any winter driving will ensure you are fully alert and ready.  Make sure your tires are inflated properly and that your gas tank is never below halfway full. If it ever happens that you wind up stuck on the side of the road waiting for help, tie a brightly colored cloth onto your antennae or at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress, and stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Keep your cellphone charged, and make sure you have extra socks, blankets, first aid items, and food/water in your car in the event of longer wait times.