Driving in the winter is much different than driving in the summer. The weather is more severe in the winter, making the condition of the roads more hazardous when you travel. There are some winter driving safety tips you can do that will help keep you and your passengers safe. You will also want to make sure that you have the vehicle maintained on a regular basis. This is important because if the parts are starting to wear out, they can cause nearby parts to wear out as well. This is because they will put extra strain and stress on them when the vehicle operates.
One of the best ways to drive safe this winter is to change some driving habits you might have. Make sure to accelerate slowly, as this can help to reduce the wheels spinning. Starting quickly on slick roads can cause the wheels to spin excessively, and may cause the vehicle to sway. Also make sure to reduce the speed that you are driving. By driving fast on ice or snow covered roads, you can increase your chance of an accident happening. In slippery conditions, tires can lose their grip easily. This will affect all aspects of your driving, including the braking, turning, and accelerating. Try and drive as smoothly as possible.
Locked wheels can make the vehicle slide or skid. If you have a vehicle without an antilock braking system, you may need to gently apply the brakes repeatedly to avoid having them lock up the wheels. If your vehicle has ABS, simply depress the brake pedal firmly and hold it down. ABS typically sends a vibration or pulsing sensation through the brake pedal. If you feel this, do not let up, as this is normal.
If snow has fallen since your car was parked, take the time to thoroughly brush it off the vehicle, including the roof, and scrape any ice from the windows. This will ensure that you have optimum visibility and that no large clumps of snow fall off of the vehicle once you begin driving, which can be a hazard for other motorists. In addition, headlights and taillights may need to be wiped clean from road salt and grunge. When entering the vehicle, kick as much snow off of your feet as possible. Snow tracked inside the vehicle can contribute to the windows fogging up.
Asking a vehicle to do two things at once, such as braking and turning, or accelerating and turning, can reduce your control. When taking a turn, for instance, slowly apply the brakes while the vehicle is going straight. When it is at the right speed to take the turn, let up on the brakes and smoothly turn the steering wheel. After you are through the turn, slowly depress the accelerator to regain your speed.