The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Driving in Snow and Ice

With temperatures remaining below the freezing point tonight, safe driving tips are in order. The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all if you can avoid it. But, with the Thanksgiving holiday on our heels, that may not be an option. If you must drive, please follow these safety tips:

Driving Safely on Icy Roads:

  1. Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.

  3. Turn on your headlights to increase visibility.

  4. Don't use cruise control on icy roads.

  5. Bridge and overpassess and infrequently traveled roads freeze first. Be especially careful.

  6. Even four wheel and front wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on ice, be cautious.

  7. Never pass snow plows or sanding trucks!

If your rear wheels skid:

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.

  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go.

  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side.

  4. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes, you will feel the brakes pulse -- this is normal.

If your front wheels skid:

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don't try to steer immediately.

  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in drive and accelerate gently.

If you must drive in adverse conditions, make sure your car is prepared and that you know how to handle road conditions. Carry an emergency car kit at all times.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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