Severe winter weather, frigid temperatures, and ice and snow produce an array of driving hazards. Exercising caution and knowing what to do in adverse conditions can protect you from accidents and injuries. Here are strategic tips to stay safe on the road, no matter what Old Man Winter throws at you.
Precautions for Cold Weather Driving To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t warm up your car in a garage or enclosed area. Keep enough gas in your tank to fill it at least halfway to prevent a gas-line freeze. Always carry hats, gloves, food, water, medication, blankets and a cell phone in your vehicle. If you become snowbound, stay inside your car; but put a brightly colored cloth at the top of a window to signal you’re in trouble.
How to Drive on Black Ice When rain falls at temperatures at or below 32° F, it freezes, creating ice on the road. People commonly call this ice “black ice” because it blends in with the road. Motorists have trouble spotting it, which makes it even more dangerous. When you encounter black ice, take your foot off the accelerator and don’t hit the brake. Keep the steering wheel steady, and avoid over-correcting the steering if the car slides.
How to Drive in the Snow AAA recommends doing everything slowly involved in snow driving, including accelerating, decelerating, turning a corner and stopping. Allow yourself a longer distance to come to a halt, and avoid stopping whenever possible. AAA recommends a method of braking that consists of putting your heel on the floor and applying firm, steady pressure to the brake. Finally, if you don’t absolutely need to go out, stay home.