Whether you drive a front-wheel drive sedan, an SUV with all-wheel drive, or a 4-wheel drive pickup truck, knowing how to handle the winter weather while on the road is important. Apply these three winter driving tips for the season ahead.
Winter Driving Tips to Keep in Mind
Keep your distance
When the weather hinders your visibility and makes the roads slick, it’s crucial to give yourself extra travel time. This extra time will allow you to drive more slowly while maintaining a safe distance from the car ahead of you.
By adding distance to that car, you’ll provide yourself with a greater margin of safety to slow down, stop your vehicle, or move your car to one side or the other if you start to skid. When the roads are covered with black ice, snow, or slush, your vehicle’s stopping power can be decreased. That will require a greater distance to slow your car, truck, or SUV.
Be gentle on the pedals
Maintaining a gentle touch on the gas and brake pedals will go a long way toward enhancing your safety during winter driving. If you notice the brake lights of the car ahead of you illuminate, it can be safer to just come off the accelerator and let your vehicle slow down naturally. Slamming on the brake pedal can have adverse reactions, like causing your brakes to lock up.
When the traffic light turns green, you can gently apply pressure to the gas pedal, so your tires will grip the road and move you forward safely. If you were to press the pedal down like in dry conditions, the tires may spin in the snow and slush, and cause you to slide.
Be at the ready
Driving is an active and engaged activity, and that is never more present than when the road conditions are less than ideal. By being proactive instead of reactive behind the wheel, you’ll be ready when someone pulls out in front of you or a car suddenly slows down.
Sitting up straight and in a ready position with your hands at the recommended places on the steering wheel help you stay attentive to the changing traffic patterns and precipitation.