On a snowy day, the roads are less than ideal for driving, and while it is sometimes better to avoid driving altogether sometimes it isn’t possible. Snowy road conditions pose a new set of challenges when it comes to safe driving and it’s your responsibility as a motorist to know how to handle yourself on snowy roads. You don’t want to be the driver that veers off the road because you were accelerating rather than reducing your speed when the snow was blowing on your windshield. Here are some helpful tips that can help you to stay safe on the road in the snow.
Avoid Jerky Driving in Wintery Conditions
Being mindful of your driving is important when traveling in the snow. You want to drive smoothly, even more than normal. This means avoiding jerky driving and being steady with the accelerator, brakes, and steering wheel. Deliberate movement of each component is necessary to prevent loss of traction. Snowy conditions are known to reduce tire traction, making gradual, smooth, gentle movement of steering, throttle, and brakes crucial. But even the best drivers need these vehicle components to be in working order. Making sure your brakes, for example, are in pristine condition can be the difference between driving safely and an accident.
Look Ahead With Anticipation
You never know what to expect when snow is on the roadways, but you should be prepared for anything. The worse the road conditions get, the more you should keep your sight further ahead on the road. It’s not just about what you can see, but how you think about what comes next. What’s your next move down the road? The more time you can give yourself to react to potential issues, the safer you will be. Before you get to turns, slow down significantly, and when the roads are wet or covered in snow or ice, your stopping distance must be adjusted to the current driving conditions. Double or triple the stopping distance is necessary when driving in the snow.
Don’t Ignore Your Dashboard Lights
If your dashboard is warning you about specific issues with your vehicle, do not ignore them. Those indicators should make you consider repairs when driving conditions are good, when driving conditions are bad they present a significant threat. This is especially true for any lights indicating issues with traction or your brakes. If you notice dashboard warning lights on consider having your vehicle looked at.
Know How to Maneuver Skids
No one wants to lose control of their vehicle, but being prepared can help protect you and others. The first thing to remember when your car starts skidding is to stay calm. It can be a scary experience sitting behind the wheel of a skidding car, but regaining full control of the car quickly is the appropriate response. In the event of a front-wheel skid in which your car turns in a wider arc than you’d intended, let up on the accelerator to regain traction and steer in the direction that you want to go. If you experience a rear-wheel skid, where you spin outward as you lose traction, make a quick maneuver, turning the steering in the exact direction of the skid while easing off the gas and avoiding hitting the brake. Then gently steer, repositioning yourself in your original direction. A general rule when experiencing a skid is to point wheels in your intended direction and only step on the brake if you have to and can recover during the process.
Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter Driving
Even the best drivers would be out of luck if their vehicle’s engine, brakes, transmission, or other components were damaged. Everett Transmission provides auto repair services as well as maintenance for your vehicle Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online!