Do you know how to drive properly in winter conditions? The following tips will help you avoid problems out on the road.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Allow yourself at least three times the normal following distance to stop.
- Drop your speed. The posted speed limit is meant for perfect road conditions. It is safer to drive below the posted speed if the road is icy or covered with snow.
- Accelerate and brake slowly to maintain traction. When stopping apply brakes slowly and gently to avoid sliding or skidding.
- Be seen. Keep your headlights on at all time to remain seen by other drivers. Don’t expect daytime running lights to be enough.
- Do not use cruise control in winter conditions. Breaking to release the control can make bad situation even worse in cases where you need to respond quickly.
- Have some basic supplies in case you get stuck.
- Snowbrush, ice scraper and extra windshield washer fluid to ensure you have good visibility at all times
- A shovel and a bag of sand to help with traction
- Extra winter clothes or a blanket to keep warm if you are stuck for a long time
- Signal in advance. Give other drivers plenty of notice before turning. This will give them time to react and adjust their driving accordingly.
- Avoid sudden moves. Loss of control can occur in cases of sudden change of direction or braking. Slow down and steer gently and gradually to avoid skidding.
- Make sure your tire pressure is at the manufacturer’s recommendation and your tires are in good condition.
For complete information and certification on winter driving please see our online Winter Driving Fundamentals course. It will help you reduce winter driving risk and offer simple solutions to winter driving challenges.