Winter is quickly approaching. The joys of winter include the holidays, hot chocolate, peppermint bark and countless others; however, with the good comes the bad. The bad is snowstorms galore! Snow is tricky to navigate because aside from the snow and ice on the road, drivers become flustered as well. Because we want you to be safe, we’ve put together a few of our favorite driving tips for navigating snow covered streets and highways. Here are our top 5 favorite snow-driving tips!
This is the most important tip we can offer: it’s typically not necessary to leave the house and put yourself in danger. If you are going out for a cup of Joe or a slice at the local pizza joint during a snowstorm, you may want to reconsider. We recommend staying off the road if possible so the clean up crew can shovel up the snow without additional distracting obstacles on the road. When the roads are covered in cold white fluff and you want to leave the house, a good question to ask yourself is: Is leaving the house worth the potential car accident or slipping injury that could take place as a result of stepping out? Chances are it’s not, but we trust you to make the right call.
Lights Are Your Friend
Whether it’s 10 AM or 10 PM, make sure your lights are on when you drive in the snow. This will not only make road conditions more visible to you, but it will also make you more noticeable to others on the road. When possible, use your high beams as light tends to reflect more on icy surfaces. Keep an eye out for glare on the roads and avoid when possible to curb your vehicle from slipping. Finally, try to take roads that are well lit. The more visible the road is to you, the safer you are likely to be.
This one’s a no brainer, but is worth repeating — drive slower in the snow! It doesn’t matter if you have an all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle or not, driving slow is smart and safe. We can’t tell you how many AWD Audis we’ve seen stuck on the side of the road because their owners think their vehicle is invincible. Also as a rule of thumb, stay at least 4 car-lengths away from vehicles in front of you, and try to avoid driving right next to other cars in the event that a car slips.
Skip Cruise Control
Cruise control is one of our favorite features for highway driving, but it has its faults. Cruise control may prevent you from recognizing a change in traction on the road. This one or two second delay in being able to act on traction changes is often all it takes for your vehicle to slip out of control.
Avoid Braking Too Hard
We know snow-covered roads are scary and we may get a little brake-happy here and there, but the best thing you can do if you need to slow down is to gently press your brake on-and-off over-and-over until your car slows down. If you rely on one hard braking motion to slow down, your brakes could lock and you could end up in a ditch or crashing into another vehicle as a result.
We know many of these tips are common sense, but we’re here to remind you of safety practices you should be implementing on the road in bad weather conditions. Many of these tips can and should also be applied on rain-heavy days as well. If you were involved in a car accident with another vehicle due to snow, contact us immediately for a free consultation at (571) 229 – 1800 or here.