Tips for Driving in the Snow

Be Safe while Driving in Snow

Driving any time requires a great deal of skill and caution. That goes double when you are forced to drive in snowy conditions. When you have to drive on roads that can more easily cause you to loose control of your car, it pays to be extra cautious. Here are some of the most important tips for driving in the snow.

Decrease Your Speed

The faster you drive, the harder it is to maintain control of your car. This goes doubly on roads that are slick with snow. Always go at least 20% slower than the posted speed limit and make sure to go even more slowly around corners. When slowing down, brake gently. Pushing hard on the brakes increases your odds of skidding. Switch to lower gears to maintain traction and avoid using cruise control.

See and Be Seen

Visibility usually decreases in snowy conditions, so it's imperative that you stay focused on the road and any obstacles that you might encounter. Additionally, you should make efforts to make your car more visible by keeping your headlights on.

Increase the Amount of Space between Cars

The most common type of accident is the "rear end collision," where one car crashes into the back of another. These accidents increase several fold when driving in snow because it becomes much easier to slide into other cars. The only defense against these sorts of accidents is to keep plenty of space in between you and the car in front of you. Ideally, you should give yourself at least five seconds of "stopping time" to ensure you don't get in an accident.

Know Your Skidding Procedure

One of the greatest dangers of driving in the snow is that the risk of skidding and loosing control of your car is much greater. Should you ever find yourself in a skid, take your foot off of the accelerator and turn your tires into the direction of the skid. If you have an older car with standard brakes, pump them gently. If you have a newer car with an Anti-lock braking system, apply steady pressure to the brakes. You should feel them rapidly pulsing, which will help you slow down without skidding.

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