Driving in winter weather can be challenging. Not to mention, it can also be dangerous, as it presents a whole new set of conditions that make it easier to get into a car accident. Winter weather causes many wrecks every year. Be a safe driver in conditions like rain, snow, and ice with these helpful tips. And remember, if the weather is bad, it’s safest just to stay home.
Driving in Winter Weather: Difficult Conditions
Driving in Rain
Winter brings wet weather. Driving in winter weather often means driving in the rain when it’s not cold enough to snow. While a little rain on the road is nothing to worry about, a lot can be dangerous. One issue to contend with is limited vision. If, for instance, you’re driving in the rain rain, even with wipers you may not be able to see well. Rain protection products can help keep your windshields clear. It’s also important to check your wipers routinely to make sure they’re working well.
Another danger of rain is the risk of hydroplaning. Always avoid driving through obvious large puddles, and if you do hydroplane, try to remain calm. The best thing to do is to keep the steering wheel steady and gently apply brakes if needed. Usually, your car will only be out of control for a few seconds, so remaining calm is your best bet. Sudden movements can make driving in winter weather like rain even more dangerous.
Snow and Ice
Snow and ice are other conditions you can definitely encounter when driving in winter weather. When driving in snow, the most important thing is to have the proper tires. Snow tires and snow chains will make things much safer for you. Another thing to remember is to drive smoothly. Sudden turns or breaks can leave you skidding. To help your car keep traction, drive slowly and carefully. Also keep a lot of distance between you and the driver in front of you, so that you have plenty of time to break. Heavy snow can also make it hard to see out of your windshield and can make some drivers dizzy. Make sure and take frequent breaks.
Ice is one of the most dangerous conditions you will face when driving in winter weather. It can sometimes be nearly invisible on the road. Going slowly and keeping plenty of space between other cars is very important. As with the other conditions, sudden movements can make your car lose traction. If you need to brake quickly, try pumping the break instead of slamming it. And if you do find yourself skidding, turn your vehicle in the direction that the rear of the car is sliding in while keeping your eyes in the direction you want to go.
Driving in winter weather can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared. Make sure your car is routinely checked by a mechanic to be safe. Also, remember to use your headlights and lower gears when driving in any kind of bad weather. And finally, remember not to use cruise control when driving in winter weather. You need to be the one in control. However, the safest thing is to stay home or pull over to allow the weather to improve.