Driving Safety Tip for Winter Weather

Written by Bonnie Gringer

The winter months can create several obstacles for drivers as they try to stay safe on the road. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures all work together to generate less-than-optimal conditions in which to navigate roads. Thankfully, you can take a few simple steps to reduce accidents and increase your chances of arriving safely to your destination. While some of these actions are directly tied to your vehicle and behavior while driving, such as increasing your visibility on the road, others are to be taken before you get behind the wheel in preparation for worst-case scenarios. Planning, prepping, and mindfulness can help you avoid minor inconveniences and may even save your life.

Tips for Driving in The Snow

  • Increase your visibility for other drivers. When driving in winter conditions always turn on your headlights.
  • When preparing to drive in the snow, adopt a defensive driving mindset; alertness and attentiveness are both critically important.
  • Slow down. Since it can take time to safely navigate through snow and ice, leave early so that you can cautiously accelerate, decelerate, stop and turn. Gently step on the gas to gain traction and relieve pressure from the pedal to avoid skidding. Make all of your vehicle’s maneuvers as smooth as possible.
  • Put more space between your car and other vehicles. Think about the amount of space that’s between your car and the closest vehicle on the road during optimum conditions. Generally, you should aim to multiply this space by at least three times when the roads are icy or snowy.
  • Utilize threshold braking. Place the ball of your foot on the car’s floor, firmly push down, and steadily ease into a stop. Should your brakes exhibit signs of locking, reduce the pressure your foot is putting on the brake. Avoid pumping anti-lock brakes.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Check further ahead than you normally do for traffic and keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians. Know that you may have to regularly survey your surroundings, as conditions during winter weather can obfuscate your view. Slow down if you approach a maintenance vehicle or snow plow on the road.

Tips for Keeping your Car Winter Ready