Winter Driving: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
It’s that time of year when show, icy roads and poor visibility all wreak havoc on drivers. But you can protect yourself and your family — while greatly reducing the risk of damage to your vehicle — by repeating this mantra: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
By easing up on the brake and accelerator, taking it slow through the turns, and keeping a constant eye far down the road, you’ll be able to properly react to when the weather turns rough.
Here are several tips to keep you from seeing red when the white stuff starts falling:
See Clearly Now — Make sure your vehicle’s windshield defroster and rear window defogger are both working properly and eliminating the snow, ice and frost before you shift the car into drive.
Live in Slow Motion — Winter driving means slowing down your vehicle and yourself. First, give yourself extra time to travel in wintry conditions so you’re not stressed and in a rush. While driving, gradually steer the vehicle through turns, gradually applying the brake well in advance of the stopping point. And always give plenty of distance between your car and the car ahead of you so that you have more than enough time to stop.
Look Into the Future — Keep an eye far down the road and plan for stop signs, lights, turn signals and curves in the road to give yourself adequate time to brake or steer. This is vital since turning and stopping take longer in winter conditions. Again, the more cushion between vehicles, the more chance of stopping without making contact.
Re-Tire Early — Safe driving means being able to grip the road, which requires tires that are in good shape. Consider purchasing snow tires, which are made with deeper, specialized treads that could be lifesavers in treacherous ice conditions.
Stay Warm, Stay Put — Finally, if heavy snow looms on the radar, just stay home. The snowscape looks so much better from the picture window in your warm house than from behind the wheel, staring through windshield in a snowy ditch.