As history tells it, this time of year is certainly no stranger to snow. In fact, it looks like we will see snow as early as the first full week of December this year! During times of heavy or persistent snow showers, the roads and highways become a sheet of ice, or puddle of slush and snow. Excess snow makes the driving conditions much more difficult, so it is important to learn how to adjust.
Driving safely in snow or ice is not easy. It requires a lot of practice, and most importantly, patience. If you are a new driver, it is highly encouraged to practice driving in snowy an icy conditions as soon as possible; this way, you are prepared and not threatened by winter, season after season. Continue reading to learn some tips on how to drive a car safely when there is snow and ice on the roads.
Thoroughly Clear Off Windows and Windshields BEFORE Driving
It is vital to clear off all snow and ice from a vehicle's windows and windshields. If a driver cannot see properly, there is no chance they can see and steer on an icy road. It is recommended to start your car a few minutes before you intend to drive it, to allow the defrosters to kick it. This will make it easier for the ice and snow to scrape and wipe off. Also be sure your windshield wipers are clear of ice and are still functional. You may need to buy new windshield wipers in the winter for better window clearing in snowy weather.
Always Drive Slower Than the Speed Limit
Even though the sign says 40 miles per hour, anyone who attempt these speeds in snow or on ice can be sure to lose control of their vehicle at some point. Accelerated speeds will cause the tires to lose traction on the road, sending a vehicle in a sliding motion, and possibly spinning out of control. This is a highly dangerous circumstance that can easily result in severe injury or death if the car strikes a tree or post. Subtract, at the very least, ten to fifteen miles from a speed limit sign when driving in harsh weather conditions, including freezing rain, snow, and ice.
Pumping the Brakes
If you are driving along the road and attempt to stop at a red light, only to discover that you have lost traction and the car is starting to slide; just pump the brakes, lightly and evenly, until control is regained and the vehicle is stopped. This does not work at high speeds, which is why speeding in snow and ice is so dangerous. Drive slowly, and pump the brakes to regain traction in your tires.
Vehicle Maintenance and Care
Be sure your car is well-maintained and in good condition before taking it out on dangerous and icy roads. You so not want to be stranded in a snow storm because your tires pop or your engine fails. It is highly suggested to get your tires balanced and rotated for the winter; as well as, your oil changed, filters replaced, and more. This way you know you can rely on your ride to get you from one destination to another, safely.
If Snow Gets the Best of You and Your Vehicle …
If poor driving conditions cause you to get stuck or be involved in a car accident, you have some reliable options for fast assistance. Simply contact a local towing company for towing or 24 hour roadside assistance service. They can help you on the spot, or tow your vehicle to your house or to the auto repair shop of your choice. And since they work around the clock, there are always there to help regardless of time or day. Some towing companies work 365 days a year, including national holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas!