As winter blankets the world in a serene layer of snow, it also challenges drivers. Slick roads, whether covered in snow, ice, or slush, demand heightened caution and preparation. Safe driving during winter requires awareness, skill, and the right mindset. Continue reading to learn more from the team at Miles Towing Service.
Preparation Is Key
Before hitting the road, take the time to prepare your vehicle for winter conditions. Ensure your tires have adequate tread, and consider switching to winter tires for better traction. Check your brakes, lights, and fluid levels. Keep your gas tank half full to prevent fuel lines from freezing. Additionally, equip your vehicle with an emergency kit containing essentials like a blanket, flashlight, jumper cables, and a shovel.
Slow Down and Increase Following Distance
One of the cardinal rules for safe winter driving is to reduce your speed. Slowing down gives you more time to react to unexpected situations and decreases the likelihood of skidding. On slick surfaces, it’s crucial to maintain a safe following distance—ideally, double the normal distance. This provides a buffer in case you need to stop suddenly or if the vehicle in front of you loses control.
Gentle Acceleration and Deceleration
When driving on slick roads, smooth and gradual movements are key. Avoid sudden acceleration, as it can cause your tires to spin and result in loss of control. Similarly, decelerate gradually to prevent skidding. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal rather than pumping it in an emergency stop situation.
Steer Into Skids
Despite taking precautions, you may find yourself in a skid. The natural instinct is to panic, but it’s crucial to stay calm. If your rear tires skid, steer in the direction you want to go. If your front tires skid, ease off the gas and shift into neutral, allowing the wheels to regain traction. Practice these techniques in an empty, snow-covered parking lot to build confidence in your ability to control a skid.
Use Lights and Signals Effectively
Visibility is often reduced during winter weather, so use your headlights and signals to communicate with other drivers. Keep your headlights on, even during the day, to increase your visibility. Use turn signals early to give other drivers ample notice of your intentions, and brake gently to avoid abrupt stops that may lead to skidding.
Stay Informed About Weather Conditions
Before embarking on a winter journey, check weather forecasts and road conditions. If conditions are severe, consider delaying your trip if possible. If you must travel, let someone know your route and expected arrival time. Stay informed about current weather and road conditions during your journey using apps or radio broadcasts, and be prepared to alter your plans if necessary.
Even with the safest driving habits, accidents can still occur. Miles Towing Service offers professional roadside assistance to the Philadelphia area. This includes winch outs should you find yourself stuck in the snow. Contact us today at (215) 783-6919 for affordable service.