Winter brings a wide range of weather. Low temperatures and varying precipitation can make roads hazardous quickly. If you learned to drive or live in an area that has harsh winters, you quickly figured out that your driving style has to change when the snow starts falling. Brushing up on winter driving tips is never a bad idea, even if you’ve been doing it for years. In this article, we are going to go over some techniques to keep you safe when the roads get slick.
How to Stay in Control When Driving on Icy Roads
Perhaps the most obvious winter driving tip, slow down! Driving fast on slippery roads is dangerous. Any maneuver, from braking to turning, takes more time and can result in losing control if you are moving too fast. Slippery roads do not allow the same level of friction with your car’s tires.
Give Space to the Car in Front
When the roads are bad, you shouldn’t be focused on getting to your destination fast. Tailgating the driver in front of you could lead to an accident, making your commute significantly longer (and way more expensive).
Slippery roads prevent your vehicle from stopping quickly. If you tend to apply your brakes late, you run the risk of rear-ending the car in front of you or sliding through a stoplight into an intersection. Following the previous tip and allowing ample space between your car and the next will provide enough space to safely come to a stop, even when the roads are really bad.
Avoid Stopping on Hills (Or at All)
This tip is especially important for 2-wheel drive vehicles. If you come to a stop on a snowy hill, getting moving again can be difficult or impossible. Not only is it fighting gravity, but your car is also dealing with poor traction. Depending on the steepness of the hill, you may not be able to get up it at all if you come to a stop.
You run the risk of getting stuck and losing traction anytime you stop on a snowy or icy road. You can avoid stopping completely by driving slowly braking very early. A vehicle crawling at low speeds is much easier to get moving, and much harder to get stuck, than one starting from a complete stop.
Driving slowly can help you time traffic lights to avoid stopping. Remember to always stop completely at stop signs.
Smashing the gas pedal when it’s slick will do nothing but spin your tires. Like we said above, this can be a big issue for two-wheel-drive vehicles and on hills. Gradual, controlled throttle application will get you moving from a stop without spinning.
Avoid Driving All Together
If you know the weather is going to get nasty, try to get your errands done before the weather starts. By staying home, you can avoid the hazards of slippery roads altogether!
Other Tips for Winter Driving Safety
To maximize safety, be sure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving. Snow tires, new wiper blades, and a healthy battery will give you better traction, good visibility, and reliable starts all winter long. Check out our winter vehicle prep guide for more tips on preparing your car for the season.
Get Your Car serviced at Becker Service Center, no matter the season!
Becker Service Center in Naperville’s Neighborhood Repair Shop. Whether it’s winter, summer, fall, or spring you can count on our team of expert technicians to take care of all your vehicle’s needs. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!