Winter Defensive Driving: How to Drive in Snow

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Winter Defensive Driving: How to Drive in Snow

Winter is coming… and bringing tons of snow with it! If you haven’t driven in the snow before, you don’t know how treacherous a little bit of snow is!

A 10-year study revealed that there are 156,164 car accidents every year because of ice and snow on US roads. If more drivers knew more about driving in winter weather, many of these accidents may not have happened!

But, what if you don’t know how to drive in snow?  Do you need special equipment for your car?

Don’t worry! We put together a comprehensive guide to teach you how to drive in the snow and ice that winter brings. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to keep you and your family safe!

Keep Your Eyes Open and on the Road

Snow flurries make it hard to see, even in the daytime! It’s important to see as best as you can when driving in the snow,

One way to help you see better is to keep your headlights clean and the bulbs in good working order. Some cars even have adaptive headlights that can illuminate around bends in the road!

Another tip is to check your windshield wipers. A good set of wipers will help keep snow from piling up and obstructing your view of the road.

Slow Down and Take Your Time

Even if there’s only a little snow flurry, don’t think you can drive at normal speeds. Driving the speed limit in the snow is a quick way to end up in trouble!

Take extra time on turns and when changing lanes. Be extra careful during any maneuver in your car and watch out for other drivers who may have lost control. If someone does lose control and hit you, be sure you know how to find a personal injury lawyer when you need one.

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Also, because everything you do when driving should take longer during a snowstorm, make sure to leave yourself lots of extra time to get to your destination. If you feel like you’re in a rush, you won’t be as careful as you should.

How to Drive in Snow With All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel-drive (or four-wheel-drive) cars have traction with all 4 wheels and give you extra control during turns and making maneuvers. If you live in an area that often sees snowfall, you might want to buy an all-wheel-drive car.

Yes, four-wheel-drive cars have a ton more traction that cars that only drive with the front or back wheels. But, that still doesn’t mean you can drive like normal!

Your brakes work the same as any other car, so you still need extra stopping room and time in case of an emergency. Don’t risk your life (or the lives of others) with false bravado in the snow.

Maintain and Know the Limits of Your Brakes

One of the most important parts of your car is the brakes. In the snow or on icy roads your brakes can save your life!

Older cars had braking systems that the driver would need to pump their brakes or risk losing control of their car. Modern cars come with anti-lock brakes that don’t need pumping. When you need to brake, slam your foot on the brake as hard as you can to stop the car.

Also, most cars have an extra brake called an emergency brake that you can pull to add some extra stopping power to your regular brakes when you need it. Don’t play around with the emergency brake though or it will wear down and not work in a real emergency.

In any case, be sure to give the car in front of you plenty of space so you have room to come to a full stop in case you need to. Snow makes the road slicker and stopping will take longer than normal, no matter how good your brakes are.

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Winterize Your Tires for the Most Traction Possible

In case you haven’t noticed, the name of the game is traction when it comes to driving in the snow. If you want to maximize the amount of traction your car has, you want to get special winter tires. These tires have a deeper tread than a standard tire and grip better onto the snow and ice, keeping your car on the road.

Another thing you can do is add chains to your tires. You want a set of chains for each of your drive wheels, so it’s important to know if your car is four-wheel-drive or not. These chains do well in deep snow, but you shouldn’t use them if most of the street is still visible.

Be Safe and Smart When the Winter Storms Come to Town

Once you know how to drive in snow, you’ll start to feel more confident when behind the wheel in a storm. But, don’t get too confident because one wrong move can still end up in a fatality!

If you don’t need to drive during a snowstorm, don’t do it! Not only will you be safer because you aren’t on the road, but the roads are safer in general when fewer cars drive near each other.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned a thing or two about driving in snow and/or ice. If you’re looking for more articles on everything from health and wellness to DIY and giveaways, check out the rest of our blog today!

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