Driving can feel like second nature after doing it for several years, but the lapsing into the same old driving habits on a wet or snowy road can easily result in a major emergency. Below are a few tips and techniques from Top Driver driving school to help you stay safe this winter.
Winterize Your Car
Failing to maintain your car is especially dangerous in colder states like Illinois and Michigan, where snow and black ice regularly accumulate on the roads. Prepare a winter emergency car kit, check all of the tires and brakes, and have all of the fluids and filters checked (especially the antifreeze). Be sure to check the defroster and clean the windshield to avoid fogging up the windshield when you’re on the highway. Battery problems are more likely to arise in cold weather, so have the charge checked at trusted maintenance shop.
Slow Down and Scan Ahead
Slowing down is one of the most important guidelines for winter driving. Posted speed limits are only for ideal road conditions, and hazards such as black ice or pot holes are not always immediately apparent from a distance. During the coldest parts of the day (early morning and late evening), a shady spot can drop the temperature enough for black ice to form on the road even if the snow is melted.
Plan for Emergencies
Pulling out of a skid is not an easy thing to do, particularly if you are traveling at a considerable speed. The important thing to remember is to steer the car where you want to go in a slow and controlled manner to avoid overcompensating. Inexperienced drivers may be tempted to slam on the brakes, but accelerating slightly can provide the tires with adequate traction to pull out of the skid.
Top Driver has several locations throughout the Chicagoland area to provide contemporary driver’s training for drivers of all ages. Visit us online to learn about our current offers, or call (888) 471-5418 to request more information about our programs.