Five Tips to Remember During Winter Driving
We can see snow on the mountains and that means it’s just a matter of time before we are in for ‘it’ in Zoo Town. AAA recently released a list of tips to get drivers ready for the frosty weather. In fact, they report nearly one-quarter of weather related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement. AAA says that results in more than 1,300 deaths and well over 100,000 people hurt every year.
Now is the time to ready your car or truck! Who wants to be in the middle of a snow storm without a ice scrapper? Or be stuck in the middle of nowhere after your car gets stuck and not have food and water while you wait for help?! It actually happened this week for a couple returning from a trip to Yellowstone National Park.
You should always drive distraction free, but when the roads get slick it’s even more reason to pay attention! The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says looking away from the road for just two seconds doubles your risk of being in a crash. If you have a passenger riding co-pilot, get their help, whether it’s responding to a text, looking for your next turn or following that map on your phone.
On dry pavement, the normal driving distance is three to four seconds from the car in front of you. That time should be doubled when the roads are icy or slick. Cruise control isn’t a good idea either. Not using it will let you respond instantly when you lift your foot off the accelerator.
In the winter, steering or braking can have very different outcomes. When you travel over 25 MPH, AAA recommends steering over braking to avoid a collision in wintery conditions. If the road is slippery, sudden braking can make you lose control of your vehicle.
If your car/truck starts skidding the first rule: DON’T PANIC! Continue to look and steer in the direction the car should go. Try not to slam on your brakes. If you do that, it will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make your car harder to control.