Winter Driving Techniques Part 1

With winter arriving quickly – we will post a 5 part Winter Driving Techniques series for teen drivers and their parents. Below is Part 1 – please read and share with your teen and their friends.

Getting underway
To see and be seen by others requires the driver to
clean all snow and ice from the entire vehicle — hood,
roof, trunk, lights and windows. Snow left on any of
these areas increases the possibility that visibility will
be affected when the vehicle is in motion. Before
departing, start your vehicle and turn the heater on for
a minute or two before using the defroster. This will
prevent moisture from fogging the windshield when
warm air hits the cold glass.

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Try to avoid driving when visibility is poor, but if you
must drive, keep your speed low, and your headlights
on low beam. If conditions worsen, pull off to a safe
spot as soon as possible.

Clear a path in front of the wheels for several feet. This
can be accomplished by driving forward and backward
in the parking space, or if the snow is too deep, some
additional shoveling may be required.

With the front wheels pointed straight to minimize
rolling resistance, shift to drive (use second gear for
manual transmissions) and with gentle pressure of the
accelerator, try to ease out of the parking space without
spinning the wheels. If you let the wheels spin, you will
only dig deeper into the snow.

When more traction is needed, use traction mats or
spread some sand, salt or any handy abrasive material
in front of and in back of the drive wheels. When using
devices under the wheels for additional traction, or
when wheels are digging into dirt or gravel and you are
receiving pushing assistance, do not let anyone stand
directly ahead or behind the drive wheels as they
may be injured by objects thrown by the spinning tires.

Stop if the wheels continue to spin and create a deeper
rut, and consider attempting to rock the vehicle out of
the rut. To rock a vehicle, start slowly in low gear (use
second gear for manual transmission vehicle). When the
vehicle will go no farther forward, release the
accelerator to permit the car to roll back. When the
vehicle stops its backward motion, apply minimum
pressure on the accelerator again.

Repeat these actions in rapid succession. Each rock
should move the vehicle a little farther forward or back
of the hole you are in. When you rock, you must use
minimum power to help prevent the wheels from
spinning and digging in deeper. Check the owner’s
manual for the recommended procedure.

Source: http://www.aaapublicaffairs.com

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