Driving in snow and ice is dangerous, and should be avoided as much as possible. But, sometimes the winter weather hits and we have little choice but to brave the elements. As a rule of thumb, if you can avoid going out—you should. But, when driving in severe winter weather is unavoidable, follow these safety tips for driving in snow and ice.
- Slow down. Cut the posted speed limit in half, and stay 5 miles per hour below that. Even if traffic is passing you, don’t risk it – your margin for error on icy roads is miniscule.
- When driving, allow three car lengths between you and the car in front of you. Keep your headlights on at all times and avoid changing lanes on the freeway. Additionally, drive in the cleanest lane – that is, the one that has be de-iced.
- Accelerate slowly from a complete stop. Never break or apply the gas during a turn; instead, anticipate your turn and put on the brakes beforehand and coast through the turn smoothly.
- Minimize braking while going downhill. If your car has anti-lock brakes, stomp on them, applying steady pressure. If you have non anti-lock brakes, then pump instead of stomp.
- Do not use cruise control, and give yourself plenty of time to come to a complete stop at a light or sign. Slow down steadily and slowly before getting to an intersection.