7 Suggestions for Safer Winter Driving

Bad weather can seriously affect the roads we drive on. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, when the roads are covered in snow, slush, or ice, a different style of driving is required than when there are normal driving conditions. Using common sense and being completely prepared for whatever may come your way is a great way to go about becoming a safe winter driver.

Here are seven suggestions to help develop your winter driving skills.

1. Leave Extra Room When Stopping – When stopping your vehicle on roads covered in snow or ice, and yes even slush, there is sometimes a safer method to use than what you would do under normal conditions. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it in place. If your car did not come with anti-lock brakes, gently pump the brake pedal to gradually slow your speed without sliding. In both cases, if you leave extra room between you and the vehicle ahead of you, your odds of avoiding a collision increase greatly.

2. Take Extra Care Driving Near Large Vehicles – Large vehicles like semi-trucks, delivery vans, and even snow plows are not as maneuverable in the snow as you may be. Avoid making sudden movements or cutting them off in traffic. With their extra weight it may take longer for them to stop unexpectedly.

3. Leave Your Headlights On – There will be times it feels unnecessary, but this step isn’t for you as much as it is for other drivers. Between snow, fog, or other conditions, many times are vision is impaired while driving in winter. Having your headlights on may mean the difference between oncoming traffic seeing you and not seeing you.

4. Stay Off Of Cruise Control – For normal driving conditions, cruise control is a great invention that has its uses. Those uses are not compatible with bad weather driving. With the cruise control feature on, your car could hit a patch of ice or slush and go out of control because the cruise control caused the accelorator to continue to be used.

5. Pay Attention To What Is Going On Farther Up The Road – One of the biggest errors in all of driving, but especially dangerous in winter driving, is to only pay attention to the other vehicles and road situation right where your car is at the moment. By concentrating on what is happening farther up the road you can be ready for an obstacle that needs to be avoided, a slow moving vehicle that is entering the roadway, a disabled vehicle that is protruding into the driving lane, or any number of other things that can affect your ability to drive safely.

6. Avoid Sudden Actions – When driving in bad weather conditions, avoid slamming on your brakes or making sudden sharp turns. These actions cause your tires to lose their traction and turn you over to the mercy of the ice and slush as your car slides out of control.

7. Slow Down For Congested Areas And Other Trouble Spots – Most collisions and traffic accidents occur where there are intersections, bridges, off ramps, and shaded areas. Recognizing that these conditions are ahead of you and slowing down before you get there can go a long way in keeping you safe during the winter driving season.

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Combining common sense with sensible winter driving techniques should get you through the bad weather driving season unscathed. The number one thing you can do to insure the safety of you, your passengers, other travelers, and your car is to be prepared for what is out there on the roadway before you actually get there. Safe winter driving skills can be learned and put into action quite easily, there is no reason you or anyone else cannot be a safer driver during bad weather.

source:  http://www.cartuningcentral.com

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