Winter is making its way here, and we all know that with the turn of the season comes the snow. In a perfect world, we can enjoy the snow from the warmth of our home… but we don’t live in a perfect world and there will come a time when we all end up having to drive in it. Driving in snow can be dangerous and our team at Jim Butler Kia in St. Louis, MO wants you to get where you’re going safely. Check out the tips below for driving safely in wintery conditions:
Clear snow and ice off of your car before driving
Clearing any snow from your vehicle is a very important step to take before you head off. Snow on your windshield blocks your view and creates blind spots. If you leave snow on the roof of your car, it may slide down and block your view while driving or fly off and create trouble for the drivers behind you.
Though it goes without saying, tires do not have as much grip of the road in icy and snowy conditions. Slowing down gives you more control and more time to react if slippage occurs, and should things go wrong, a reducing your speed lessens the impact.
Accelerating, braking and turning should all be separate actions
Braking while turning or accelerating while turning are two things that will lead to disaster in snowy conditions. Slowly apply the brakes while the vehicles is going straight and very gently accelerate when making the turn. Remember: Gently.
Longer braking distance
When driving in winter conditions, always keep your distance from the vehicle ahead of you and apply the brakes much earlier than you would in dry conditions. Use less pressure on the brakes than you normally would, as locking your brakes will cause the vehicle to slide or skid.
Steer into a skid
If the rear of the vehicle does happen to begin sliding during a turn, do not panic. Let your foot off of the accelerator and steer your vehicle in the direction of the slide. By doing this, you remain in control.
Just because the road looks clear, doesn’t mean it's clear
Just because a road looks clear of snow does not mean that it is clear of danger. Black ice, a layer of ice on the road that is typically mistaken for wet pavement, is often found on bridges, overpasses and shaded parts of the road. According to one study, trying to stop on black ice takes nine times longer than normal, so you truly have no room for error if you come across it. Remember that if the road is wet and temps are below 32 degrees, freezing will occur and the possibility of black ice increases.