Winter Weather Driving

This February weather has been one for the record books in Alabama.  We have seen our fair share of snow, ice, sleet, and frigid cold temperatures.  Here are some basic driving tips for driving on these winter conditions:

 1.      GO SLOW! – You cannot pretend that you are driving in normal conditions.  Take your time and be cautious. Don’t make unnecessary lane changes or quick acceleration or braking maneuvers.  It will take you much longer to get somewhere if you crash than if you try and shave a few seconds off your daily commute.

2.      EASY ON THE BRAKES – Brake application is a common trigger of vehicle sliding which results in you losing control of your car.  ABS do not work well on ice and snow, and often will lock up your wheels.  Sliding wheels make it nearly impossible to control your vehicle.

3.      TURN INTO A SLIDE – If you find your car sliding, you need to turn your wheels in the direction that the REAR of the car is sliding.  By turning into the slide, you stand the best chance of recovering control of your vehicle.  (If you saw the Pixar movie Cars, it’s the same concept Lightning McQueen had to learn when racing on the dirt roads).

4.      DON’T BE OVERCONFIDENT – A major factor in many serious and fatal crashes is one’s overconfidence in their abilities to drive in adverse conditions.  Just because the speed limit is 50 doesn’t mean you should go 50 in less than ideal conditions.  Similarly, just because you have driven in bad weather conditions before does not mean that the snow and ice is any less slippery for you than a new driver.  Recognize that you are driving in dangerous conditions and don’t get cocky.