The winter season brings change to the driving landscape; not only does the climate outside get colder, but driving conditions get harsher. With colder temperatures comes more things that can affect your driving ability like wet roads, snow-covered roads, and freezing rain. Driving in winter conditions is something that must be practiced to become an expert, but there are some tips that can make it easier. Follow this guide for safe winter driving.
Check your tires now, make sure you see an M+S rating or the Three Peaks Snowflake symbol on your tires. If you do not have snow rated tires, do not venture out in snowy conditions.
Increase your following distance, leave a little bit more space in front of you to be able to stop.
All Wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles still need extra time to stop. Don’t let the added traction give you a false sense of security, you still have to stop. Be gentler with your input. With less traction available, your car will not respond well to sudden changes in direction or speed. Imagine an egg between your foot and the pedals.
Steer into the skid. If your car starts sliding, keep steering in the direction you want to go. Don’t suddenly hit the brakes, take your foot off the gas and steer into the skid.
Mind your momentum. Plan a little bit ahead for uphill or downhill travel. If you are going up a hill, make sure you have enough momentum to get to the top without having to spin the tires. If you are going downhill, make sure you start out slowly to avoid having to brake excessively. Use a lower gear and a bit of caution.
If you do not have a lot of experience in snowy conditions, consider practicing in a parking lot to become familiar with how your vehicle will handle the slippery conditions.
Schedule an appointment today for a winter checkup inspection to be sure you are ready for the season ahead.
Be safe and drive well