The weekend brought our first real snowfall of the season and it was enough accumulation to close schools and delay just about everything else. That bad weather means adjusting the way you drive on the roads so that you, or some one else, stay out of the ER and prevent your insurance premium from going up. Here are some tips, compliments of Triple A, to observe while on snowy roads.
Properly Negotiate Hills
Don’t stop when you are going up a hill. Try to establish a safe speed on a flat surface before going uphill so that momentum helps you climb and you don’t have to power up that hill. Powering up a hill is another danger than can lead to tires spinning and potentially your vehicle as well. Use that momentum to get to the top of the hill then use caution going downhill without slamming your brakes…speaking of brakes:
Know your brake system
Be aware as to whether you do or do not have anti-lock brakes. Keep your heel to the floor and the ball of your foot on the pedal. that way you are able to gently tap and ride your brakes, giving yourself the chance to stop slowly instead of slamming and possibly sliding or spinning.
Try to negotiate how often you stop
Continuously moving is better than having to come to a full stop, but at times that is unavoidable. If you have the ability to slow your speed, without completely stopping, to time traffic lights, you should try to do that. Stop signs must be obeyed and Yield signs also observed, but where you can limit full stops until you arrive at your destination, you should try your best to safely do so.
Increase your driving distance from other vehicles
This is one of the biggest tips to put into practice as you never know how your car will react to slamming on the brakes in bad weather. Increasing to stopping distance to five to six seconds from the vehicle in front you will give you time to slow down at a safe rate. After all, you never know what type of vehicle you may be following, so following the safe distance guideline helps keep as many safe on the roads as possible.
Accelerate and Decelerate slowly
Slamming your brakes and/or lighting up the gas pedal contributes to slides and spin outs on snowy and slick roads. It takes longer to establish momentum and longer to slow momentum in bad conditions.
This is self explanatory
Stay At Home
This is Triple A’s number one tip…if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out.
One more friendly reminder:
It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle you own
SUVs and Trucks can slide like any compact or sedan. Bigger vehicles only means bigger wrecks. SUVs and trucks don’t come with special “no-slide” tires and don’t inherently corner better than any other vehicle in bad conditions. Every vehicle should observe the safe driving tips cited above to prevent trips to the ER or worse, the morgue.
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