In the wintertime, snow and ice on the roads can be a safety hazard. Though many places plow and salt their streets, you can’t always be sure when roads will be clear. One of the most critical driving lessons is how to safely handle winter road conditions. Here are five tips for handling snow and ice:
Obey Posted Speed Limits
You should always follow posted speed limits, especially when driving in the winter. If conditions are really bad, you should drive even slower. The faster you go, the more likely you are to lose control. Even if other drivers are speeding past you, resist the temptation to drive faster.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
When the road is wet and slippery, you need more room to safely brake and avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you. Keep a safe following distance so that you have plenty of time to brake. Slamming on the brakes is especially dangerous in the winter, because it can cause your car to skid.
Be Careful of Black Ice
Black ice is a thin, nearly invisible layer of ice frozen over the asphalt. Just because a plow or salt truck has passed down a street doesn’t mean it’s safe; black ice can remain on the road even in areas that have been cleared of snow.
Steer Into Skids
Should you lose control of your car, don’t panic or jerk the wheel suddenly—this will only make the problem worse. Instead, you should steer into the skid and maintain your speed. Slamming the brakes will cause you to lose complete control of your vehicle.
Carry an Emergency Kit
A winter roadside emergency kit can help you deal with break downs, flat tires, and other tough situations. The typical kit should include a flashlight, a blanket, jumper cables, flares, an ice scraper, a snow shovel, and a bag of kitty litter to help you regain traction if your wheels get stuck.
The driver training at Top Driver can teach you the skills you need to safely operate a motor vehicle in all weather conditions. Call us at (888) 471-5418 for more information about our driving school.