Snow is magical and it can make any landscape look beautiful. However, you can’t deny that it’s hard to drive in. Snowstorms make roads icy and slick causing all sorts of car accidents. There are a few things you can do to make trips in the snow safer for you and your family. Here are 6 important safety tips for driving in the snow.
Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow
Never Slam on the Brakes
The best way to slow down when you’re driving in the snow is to slowly pump your brakes. Slamming on the brakes will lock your tires and cause your vehicle to pull and slide all over the road. When your tires lock, they don’t spin and they continue to slide on the road until they start to spin and gain traction again. Slowly pump your brakes to slow down so that your tires can continue to get traction with the road. If you have slammed on the brakes and find yourself sliding, take your foot off the brake and you should get traction again.
This seems like a no-brainer but it’s the most important safety tip for driving in the snow. Always drive slower than you think is necessary. Don’t mind people passing you. Never drive faster than you are comfortable with even if you are getting passed on the road. Driving slowly will allow your tires to stay firmly on the road without sliding. If you happen to slide off the road, driving slowly will create less damage than if you were driving fast.
Instead of flooring the gas pedal to try to make it up an icy hill, try to gain inertia while you go down the hill to make it over the top. Slamming on the gas pedal to try to get going will only cause your tires to spin, instead of carrying you to the top of the hill. You wouldn’t want to slide down backward on the hill when you’re driving in the snow either.
Don’t Follow Cars too Closely
Give yourself plenty of room between you and the car in front of you when you are driving in the snow. This will allow extra space in case you cannot stop quickly enough. If your car slides, a few extra feet could help keep you from rear-ending the person in front of you. Again, it’s ok to give yourself more space than you think is necessary.
Sometimes you have to stop your car altogether at a stoplight or a stop sign. However, if you can avoid stopping then you should try to do it. Try to keep your car rolling so that you don’t need to try to get your car going again. It’s a lot easier for your car to start going again if it’s already moving a little bit. Your tires might just start spinning if you stop your car altogether. Slow down in plenty of time at a stoplight to keep your tires rolling until the light turns green.
If the weather is terrible and you’re feeling nervous about driving in the snow, just stay home. It’s a lot better to miss a party than to get in a car accident. Never drive when you don’t feel comfortable driving.
Driving in the snow can be a little tricky and a little scary. However, these important safety tips will help you make it to your destination safely. Gently pump your brakes, slowly apply the gas, let inertia do the work for you, and drive slowly, and remember to be safe out there!