Winter is already here so be sure that you are prepared when driving your car in harsh weather conditions. After a snowstorm allow yourself extra time to reach your destination safely and be sure to wait until the snow plows and sanding trucks have cleared the road ways.
Driving safely on icy roads
- Don’t presume your car can safely handle all weather conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can come across trouble on winter stricken roads.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other drivers.
- Brake lightly to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, gently ease off the brake.
- Slow down and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Allow a lot more space to stop then you usually would.
- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads because these will freeze first.
- Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks since drivers have limited visibility and the roads in front of them are worse than the road behind.
- Always keep your lights and windshield clean.
If your front wheels skid
- Take your foot off the accelerator and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
- As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. Steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the car in drive or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.
If your rear wheels skid
- Slowly take your foot off the accelerator.
- Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
- If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
- Pump your breaks gently.
If you get stuck
- Do not spin your wheels since this will only dig your car in deeper.
- Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
- Try rocking the vehicle or shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a slight touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.
- Use a slight touch on the gas to ease your vehicle out.
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Remember to stay safe out there!