Snow doesn’t have to get the best of you, your holiday plans, or you and your family’s safety this winter. Learning how to tackle snow on the roads can take a lifetime, or it can take five minutes. There are so many things you can do to help improve your driving and precautions you can take before driving in the snow. Some you can learn the hard way after making the same mistake a few times, or learning after an accident, or you can read and apply these tips to your next outing when it is snowing.
1. Drive Smoothly
If you think you are driving smoothly already, think again! Be super intentional about this one. Jerky movements can be your last. Braking hard, accelerating too fast, and turning the wheel too hard are all movements that can cause your car to lose grip of the road. When and if you’re driving smoothly, your vehicle has more time to grip the road or at least what it can. A good tip is to pretend there is a cup of hot coffee in your lap without a lid while driving. Do not make any movements that may make it spill and burn you!
2. Look Into the Distance
As the ground gets slipperier, you will need to look and prepare yourself for things like red lights, turns, when you need to get over, and etc. Not looking ahead can cause that “hot coffee” to spill in your lap and can cause you to make jerkier movements and cause an accident.
3. Look for Flashing Lights
If you are wondering how to tell how much grip your tires actually have on the road, look for the sign with flashing lights that resembles a car with squiggly lines behind it. This is to warn you that you may be entering an area that there is little traction. When you see this, let your foot off the gas and let your tires get their grip back safely.
If your car does begin to skid, always look where you want to go and not where the car is heading in that exact moment. If you do this, your peripheral vision will take care of whatever object you are trying to avoid. Race car drivers always tell people, “you almost always end up wherever you are looking.” Race car drivers are also pro’s at recovering from skids.
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5. Deal with the Skids
The only thing you really want to avoid when you skid is panicking and pressing the brakes! These two things can make the skid worse and possibly make the results turn out worse. For a skid on the front wheels, ease off the gas and in a second or two after that, your tires should be able to get their grip and regain traction again. For a back wheel skid, you will feel yourself beginning to spin. What you will want to do is turn the wheel in the direction the back wheel is sliding.
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