With the latest snow storms and many more in the forecast for the Midwest region it would be a great time to discuss some tips for driving under bad weather conditions. First and foremost if any possibility the best precaution is to not drive at all. If you must drive try to wait until salt trucks and snow plows have been given proper time to reach the roads, and allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination. In worst case scenarios some individuals must drive, in these cases make sure your car is prepared, and you know how to handle situations that may arise due to the inclement weather. It is very helpful to practice driving in bad weather conditions in an open parking lot if you are unfamiliar with your car. To maximize your safety and that of other drivers on the roadway use these following tips!
1. Decrease vehicle speed and leave plenty of stopping room. Leave three times the normal distance between the vehicles ahead.
2. Brake gently to avoid skidding, if your wheels lock up ease off the brake.
3. Always use your headlights to increase other motorist visibility of you.
4. Always drive with clean windows.
5. Use low gears when approaching hills.
6. In no circumstance should you use cruise control.
7.Be cautious of bridges, as they freeze before any other roadways.
9. Never assume your vehicle can handle any and all conditions. Even four-wheel drive and front wheel drive vehicles skid!
i. Let off the accelerator.
ii. Steer in the direction you want the car to go.
iii. If your rear starts to slide in the other direction as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward the opposite side. You may have to steer left then right a few times to get your car back completely straight.
iv. If you have standard brakes pump them gently, in the case of abs brakes apply steady pressure DO NOT PUMP! You will feel the brakes vibrate, this is normal.
10. If your vehicle gets caught in a stationary position, follow these directions and you’ll be on the road in no time!
b. Turn your wheels from left to right to move snow away from wheels.
c. Using a shovel clear a path for the car.
d. Slightly accelerate to ease the car out.
e. If the vehicle continues to spin freely, use sand, kitty litter, or salt in the path to help with traction.
Always keep an emergency kit in your car. Things like blankets and flares can save your life. For more info on Emergency follow this link to the DMV .