Don’t Fear the Ice: Helpful Tips for Driving in the Winter
It’s no secret that the winter season brings about a new set of hazards for drivers. This is especially the case when driving in rural areas that are more susceptible to harsh weather effects. From ice and low visibility to stalling engines and clogged wheel wells, this time of year comes with unique road conditions. To keep yourself and the drivers around you safe this season, use these helpful tips for driving in the winter.
Don’t Use Cruise Control
While cruise control can be very useful to us during the warmer months, it can prevent us from reacting as readily as we need to during the winter. The conditions can be unpredictable, so every driver on the road needs to have the freedom to respond to sudden hazards to prevent accidents. Avoiding the use of your cruise control is one vital way to ensure you always have optimal control of the vehicle.
Increase Your Following Distance
Since winter conditions can be slick, the chances of your vehicle losing traction and sliding are high. As such, you must go to the effort of increasing the distance between you and the car in front of you. This will allow you more time to react in an unexpected situation and increase the likelihood of avoiding a collision.
Change Speed Gradually
Unfortunately, speeding up or slowing down too fast can also cause you to lose traction on icy roads. It’s for this reason you should get into the habit of accelerating gradually from a stop and breaking before you typically would. Adopting this defensive way of driving is another great way to cut down on your risk of sliding.
Know How to React
Sometimes, sliding on icy roads is inevitable, and you’ll need to know how to best react to minimize the effects. Many professionals recommend you steer in the same direction of a skid so you don’t need to overcorrect to return to your lane. It’s also important that you take your foot off the gas and refrain from slamming on the brake as these actions could prolong the sliding.