Winter is upon us, and that means the weather is blustery out there. If you live in a northern climate, you know the feeling. Summer quickly fades into a brief fall, and then suddenly its snowing like nobodys business. You would think that after living in the area for year after year that people would realize that driving in the snow requires a little bit of finesse. But it seems that these people forget every single year how to slow down. Here are a few tips to keep yourself on the road, and away from a collision.
It goes without saying that when you are driving on snow or ice that you have to slow down. But many people think that since their vehicle has four-wheel drive, they can drive as fast as they would on dry pavement. Four-wheel drive does nothing for your ability to brake. Although you may be able to get through deeper drifts, and get up to speed faster, your car or truck will have just as much difficulty slowing down as a two wheel drive vehicle. So do everyone a favor, and ease up 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Hit Those Brakes
If your car has anti-lock brakes, dont be shy about jamming your foot down. The technology is designed to automatically pump for you. So if youre sliding, smash into those brakes and let the car do the work for you. The only thing that hitting the brakes lightly will do for you is cause more time to pass before you come to a stop. Now keep in mind that if you dont have anti-lock brakes, this is the worst thing you could possibly do. When trying to brake, put the car in neutral, and tap the brakes with rapid light taps. This keeps the wheels from locking up and the car from going into a spin.
Give Yourself Time
A general rule of thumb is to add 25%-50% to your commute time when its slick. So if it usually takes you 20 minutes to get to work, give yourself 25 to 30 minutes. Being in a rush is the fastest way to get yourself into an accident (and remember, even if you are not at fault, you likely wont be reimbursed for ALL the damage to your vehicle unless you hire a lawyer).
Driving in the winter can be scary. Not only because your car is slipping and sliding around, but everyone elses cars are as well. You may have perfect control, but you never know when someone is going to slide through an intersection and you wont be able to stop in time. Keep a sharp eye out while you drive, take it slow, and dont be stupid and you ought to arrive safely.
Do you have any winter driving tips?