January 11, 2010

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Helpful Tips for Winter Driving


Helpful Tips for Winter Driving

1. Drive SLOWLY and stay off the brakes.  Do not slam on the brakes.  If you have to use them, tap or pump the brakes to gradually slow down or come to a full stop.  Slamming on the brakes on ice can make them lock, making you lose control of the vehicle.  Try slowing down before an icy patch by tapping the brakes, then gliding slowly over the ice in low gear (see #2).

2. Use the low gears – this gives more traction to the tires and keeps you in better control of the vehicle.  The low gears are 1, 2, and D3, with 1 being the lowest with the most traction.  Use 1 for the worst icy patches and work up from there.

3. If you do slip/slide, turn INTO the skid (turn the steering wheel toward the direction you are sliding).  For example, if the rear of the car is sliding to the right, you want to turn the wheel to the right with it.  And at the same time, lift your foot from the accelerator.  This will put you back in greater control of the vehicle and back on course.

4. Keep more distance than usual between yourself and the cars ahead of you and behind you to allow for slipping as they come to a stop.

5. Be especially careful approaching intersections - look for other cars that may be approaching too fast and anticipate their course by slowing down.  You might want to shift to low gear for the intersection.

6. To keep control on curves and turns, slow down just before the turn.  A sudden burst of speed or braking will send you skidding.

7. Stay off your cell phone!

8. Keep breathing.

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