7 Safety Tips For Driving in The Snow
Driving in the snow can be stressful at best, and dangerous at worst. The best thing you can do is to prepare for that winter snowfall so you are not taken by surprise when winter weather hits. If you are afraid to wake up to weekday snow and a full scheduled day at the office, take heart. We have a few tips to keep you and your car safe on these chilly, frosty winter roads.
First Things First: Get Your Winter or Snow Tires
If you will be driving in the snow, you will need adequate traction. Winter tires, also known as snow tires, require a deep tread of at least 6/32″ (3/16″).
Second Step: Prepare the Rest of Your Car
Check your battery. Double-check your coolant. Check your wiper fluid and make sure it is resistant down to well below freezing. Replace broken wiper blades. Pack emergency supplies in the trunk.
Tips for Driving in the Snow
Driving in the snow can be tricky, but you will be significantly safer with a few tricks up your sleeve:
- Accelerate slowly: Accelerate gently, then shift quickly to a higher gear to reduce skidding.
- Stop slowly: Just as you should speed up slowly, you should also come to a stop slowly. Remember, it takes up to 10 times longer to stop on icy roads.
- Drive slowly: Yep, a third slow reminder in a row: Drive slowly, with caution. Give yourself adequate time to get everywhere, so you’re never stressed into speeding to your destination.
- Give yourself space: If a normal stopping distance is 3-4 seconds, it’ll take at least 8-10 seconds on freezing roads. Icy roads? Give up to 30 seconds on ice. Give yourself this margin of safety.
- Work your anti-lock brakes: Do you know how to use anti-lock brakes? Focus on the three S’s: stomp as hard as you can, stay there – that is, with your foot on the brake, and steer where you want to go.
- Inertia is your friend: You already know not to accelerate quickly or suddenly, unless absolutely necessary. Instead, use inertia to get up a hill. Whatever you do, don’t stop when you’re ascending.
- Check road conditions: Always check to see if a road is salted, gritted, or otherwise treated against snow and ice. Also, bear in mind that other cars’ tire tracks, packed-down plowed roads, and other such compressed conditions are more likely to turn to dangerous ice.
- Wear sunglasses: Those polarized sunglasses you love during the summer? They are perfect to cut down on glare, especially low winter sun glinting off a blanket of freshly fallen snow.
In Case of Skid
If you do skid, steer into it gently, remembering to use your anti-lock brakes. Try hard not to panic. Do not fight the skid. Do not spin the steering wheel.
Stay Home, Whenever You Can
The best piece of advice we can give about winter driving? If you do not have to go out, dona??t. Ask if you can telecommute, skip the supermarket, and reschedule non-essential doctor appointments. Stay home when the snow gets bad, even if that means taking a personal day. And if you absolutely, positively have to drive in the snow, be prepared for bad road conditions. Take the long route and follow detours for safety.
It’s important to follow these safety tips for driving in the snow. For more safety tips, visit the LivSecure security blog.