7 Reminders For Safe Winter Driving

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Dec 23, 2013 10:52:00 AM

With winter officially upon us, road conditions in many places have become more hazardous.

snow roads resized 600

And whether you’re the one plowing the roads or commuting from one plow site to the next, we could all use a refresher on some tips for driving safe this winter season. Take a look at these tips from Shift Into Winter:


  • Maintain a safe following distance. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Look ahead and keep plenty of distance between you and the other cars (at least four seconds).

  • Drop your speed to match road conditions. The posted speed is the maximum speed under ideal conditions. In winter, it is safer to drive below the posted speed. No matter how much experience you have, the way your vehicle will move on snow or ice always has an element of unpredictability.

  • Watch for black ice. Slow down when approaching icy areas such as shaded areas, bridges and overpasses as these sections of road freeze sooner than others in cold weather. Watch for “black ice”, areas of the road with a thing, almost invisible coating of ice, as it can cause our vehicle to suddenly lose control when you brake or corner.

  • Accelerate and brake slowly. On slick roads, start slowly and accelerate gradually to maintain traction and avoid spinning your wheels. When stopping, plan well in advance, apply the brakes gently and slowly add pressure. Never brake suddenly.

  • Avoid sudden moves. Slow down and steer smoothly and gradually to avoid skidding. Accelerate gently, turn slowly, and brake carefully and early. Avoid unexpected quick movements that could put you in a spin. Anticipate turns, stops, and lane changes well before they occur.

  • Know how to handle a skid. A skid happens when your wheels slide out of control on a slippery surface and is a result of driving too fast for road conditions. If you start to skid, ease off the brake or accelerator, and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over-steer. If you are on ice and skidding in a straight line, step on the clutch or shift to neutral.

  • See and be seen. It is critical for drivers to see and be seen in low light conditions, and when blowing snow impairs visibility. Always drive with your headlights on.   If you are out plowing snow, don’t forget the visible strobe light for your vehicle.

Keep these tips in mind whether you’re on the job or just heading down the road and stay safe this winter season.



photo credit: <a href="">Ulf Bodin</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Topics: Safety

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