Driving in the winter may be challenging and dangerous. Better roads, automobiles, and tires will not be able to compensate for poor driving habits. Here are a few driving tips from the Maple Driving School to protect your winter driving experience from becoming a regrettable.
1. Apply Gas And Brakes Slowly To Avoid Skids.
You’ll hit a slippery patch sooner or later, and you’ll get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as your automobile begins to slide away from the direction you want to go. Even large skids can be controlled, and the car can be brought back under full control quickly. First and foremost, don’t freak out—and don’t slam on the brakes! Rather, try the following:
For a front-wheel skid—where the front tires lose grip and the car rotates in a broader arc than you expect—ease off the gas. The front tires should regain traction in a beat or two. Then, once your traction recovers, aim for your desired destination.
If you’re in a rear-wheel skid, where the rear tires lose traction and you start to spin off, swiftly move the steering wheel in the same direction as the rear wheels are sliding. Turn the wheel to the left if the rear is swinging to the left, for example. Stay off the brakes and ease off the accelerator. Steer back in the original direction as the rear wheels get traction.
Make sure your wheels are headed in the direction you want to go, regardless of the type of skid you’re in. You can also use your brakes softly if you believe you can recover without striking anything. If an accident is about to happen, don’t be scared to slam on the brakes.
2. Reduce Your Speed To Maintain Better Control Of Your Car.
Speeding is never a good idea, but it’s especially dangerous on snowy or icy roads. Prepare to travel much more slowly than you would typically on dry roads. If you slow down, you will have more time to respond if you run into a problem.
Reduce your speed and give yourself more room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Depending on your tire tread, vehicle weight, road slope, amount of snow on the road, and visibility, a suitable following distance is roughly eight to ten seconds from the other car. There’s a chance you’ll desire even more.
3. Increase Your Following Distance.
You should also give greater space between your automobile and the vehicle in front of you, in addition to slowing down. In the winter, the standard following distance guideline of 3 to 4 seconds should be increased to 8 to 10 seconds. This will make it easier to come to a halt if necessary.
Increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. On an the icy road, stopping distance is double that of a dry one. For example, on an icy road surface, from roughly 45 meters (140 feet) at 60 km/h to 80 meters (over 260 feet).
Allow extra room for the automobile ahead of you. Braking on a slick surface necessitates additional distance, so keep your distance from the automobile ahead of you. On dry roads, a three-to-four-second following distance is advised. For wet or icy roads, this should be raised to eight to ten seconds.
4. Do Not Use Cruise Control While Driving On Slippery Roads.
If something unexpected happens and you need to dodge a roadblock, you must rapidly regain control of your vehicle to navigate it. Let’s face it, these types of incidents are more common in the winter. Wildlife and other barriers may be less visible as the nights grow longer. Slick weather also implies that other vehicles on the road are more likely to make unexpected maneuvers.
As a result, if you’re driving in the winter, you may need to disengage cruise control quickly. While braking is usually the quickest way to disable cruise control, doing so in slick winter conditions can be risky and even make the issue worse.
5. Check The Pressure On Your Tires.
Make sure your tires have enough tread for traction in the snow and to avoid hydroplaning in the rain or puddles on the road. It’s possible you’ve heard that putting more weight in the trunk or truck bed improves traction. Traction may be improved but at the cost of steering control and a longer stopping distance.
Likewise, you may hear that reducing tire pressure is another technique of enhancing traction. Reduced air pressure will not increase traction, and your tires may become severely underinflated, causing steering problems. Keep in mind that the tire air pressure lowers by about one pound per square inch for every ten degrees the outside temperature drops. It’s important to keep in mind that underinflated tires are the leading cause of tire failure.