Tips for Safe Winter Driving

November 14th, 2014 by

Shopping Ohio Chevrolet dealers can help you find a vehicle that’s safe and reliable all year round. However, even the safest vehicles can’t keep you safe on the road. Your driving practices have a big influence on how safe you and your passengers are.

During the winter months, you’ll need to rethink your driving approach. What might be safe to do when the roads are dry and warm may prove to be downright dangerous when the roads are icy and slick.

Here are a few top tips for safe winter driving:

Slow Down

Even wet roads can make it harder for you to stop. In the winter, the roads seem to remain perpetually wet. Even if there is no snow or ice on the road, the roads are likely wet from melted snow or ice. The water usually doesn’t have enough time to dry before new snow or ice forms.

Start driving even below the speed limit to give yourself enough time to stop.

Use Caution on Brides and Overpasses

Because air flows both above and below bridges and overpasses, ice is likely to form there before other places on the road. Ice may be there even if the rest of the road is relatively clean. Slow down when passing bridges or overpasses, and be on the lookout for black ice, which blends in with the look of the road and can be hard to spot.

Know What to Do in Case of a Skid

Even with the most cautious driving, you may hit a patch of ice unexpectedly or have to slam on your brakes because someone stopped suddenly in front of you or pulled out in front of you. It is important to know what to do when you skid so that you do not lose control of the vehicle.

Take your foot off the gas immediately, and if you have a manual transmission, shift to neutral. Steer in the direction that your car is turning, and tap the brakes lightly. Your car will slowly gain traction and become easier to manage.

Avoid Getting Stuck

When snow is piled high on the road, it can be difficult to see where the road ends and the grass begins. If you get stuck, it is important to know what to do. Start by turning your wheels from side to side to clear snow away from the car. Use a small shovel if you have one to remove additional snow. Lightly press the gas to see if you can move out of the spot. Do not slam on the gas since this can create spinning that will dig a deeper hole and make it harder for you to get out.

Dump sand, gravel or kitty litter in the spot to provide traction. If you still can’t get out, leave the car and call a tow truck. Do not stand by the car to wait as you will put yourself in danger for passing cars. Do not sit in the car and wait either.

As one of the top dealers of used cars in Cincinnati, Ohio, McCluskey Chevrolet doesn’t just care about making a sale. We also want to sell safe cars and provide our customers with the information they need to be safe on the road. These tips can help you drive safely this winter.