Are You a Safe Winter Driver?


Let's face it - everyone loves a good snow day. But sometimes being snowed-in just isn't an option, no matter what the weather is doing outside. We all have places to go, people to see and things to do. When this is the case, it's important to be as informed as possible on how to drive in potentially dangerous conditions. After letting the plows do their job and adding a bit of extra time to your commute, keep these winter driving tips in mind for getting from A to B.


Keep in your vehicle throughout the winter:

  • Ice scrapers
  • Small snow shovel
  • Kitty litter, salt, sand or gravel
  • Warm gear to wear
  • Easy to open canned good in case of emergency


Driving safely on slick roads:

  • Decrease your speed and allow plenty of stopping space (rule of thumb: leave at least three times more space between you and the car in front)
  • Brake gently if your wheels start to lock up to avoid skidding.
  • Keep your lights on, your windshield clean, and cruise control off
  • Bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads will freeze first, so be especially careful
  • Don't assume that having four-wheel drive makes you invincible; you can still encounter trouble so take extra precautions


If your rear wheels skid:

  • Take your foot off accelerator
  • Steer in the direction you want your front wheel to go (rule of thumb: if your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left, and vise versa)
  • If you have standard breaks, pump them gently
  • Those with anti-lock breaks (ABS) DO NOT PUMP; apply steady pressure (rule of thumb: it is normal to feel the brakes pulse)


If your front wheels skid:

  • Take your foot OFF the gas and shift to neutral
  • Do not steer immediately; as the vehicle skids sideways it will slow you down
  • When traction is regained, steer in the direction you desire
  • Put the transmission back in drive and accelerate gently


If you get stuck:

  • DON'T spin your wheels; this will only dig you deeper
  • Turning your wheels side to side can push snow out of the way
  • After shoveling away some snow add salt, sand, kitty litter or gravel under the tire to help regain traction  
Randy Seibert 
Seibert's Family of Companies 

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