BUFFALO, NY — The winter weather is so unpredictable and this time of year you never know when to expect black ice, heavy snow, icy roads or a mixture of road conditions. Tips and tricks for driving in the snow and ice.
So what do you do if you find yourself driving sideways on an icy road? If you have racing experience or been to a performance driving school is should be second nature. What about everyone else? Do you remember what you learned in driver’s education? Or what you did last time you were in this uncomfortable situation?
As winter sets in, the roads can become a treacherous place for a vehicle. Heavy rain, snow, sleet, and icy conditions can create a whole new world on the road than what most are used to driving on. Try not to be caught off guard when the weather turns frightful, and review these tips before you head out on those slippery roads.
1) Adjust your speed to current conditions:
When driving in challenging conditions, slow down. Decreasing speed will allow more time to respond when a difficult situation occurs.
2) Anticipate difficult situations:
Many studies have shown that 80% of all accidents could be prevented with only one more second to react. This one second can be gained by looking far enough ahead to identify problems before becoming a part of them.
3) Use grip effectively:
When roads are slippery, always brake in a straight line before the curve in the road. Taking your foot off the brake before steering into the corner allows you to use the entire grip available for steering. Don’t accelerate until the steering wheel is straight.
4) Drive with your headlights on:
Whenever daytime visibility is less than clear be sure to turn on headlights as to be seen by other drivers. Remember this rule of thumb: wipers on, lights on. When traveling in snowy weather remember to regularly clear tail lights, turn signal lights, and headlamps.
5) Anti-locking brakes can’t perform miracles:
Although ABS braking systems offer the ability to brake and steer, they are still limited by the grip available on the road and the type of tires on your vehicle. If you’re driving too fast into an icy corner and try to brake, even ABS won’t keep you.
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6) Driving at night:
Leave headlamps on low beam when driving in snow or fog. This will minimize the reflection and glare, improve visibility, and will help reduce eye fatigue.
7) Wear quality sunglasses:
Good-quality sunglasses help highlight changes in the terrain and road surface even in low visibility conditions. Polarized lenses are your best choice.You’ll find this especially helpful when icy roads reflect bright sunlight.
Start the winter off right by reviewing and following these simple guidelines to prepare for the slippery conditions that lie ahead.
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