Since we don’t get a lot of winter weather here in Alamance County, we don’t get much practice driving on ice and in snow. Before you go slip sliding away in the storm, memorize these tips on staying mobile when the roads are frozen:
- Drive Smoothly. Drive like you have a full cup of really hot chocolate in your lap. In order to not get scalded, you have to drive very slowly and smoothly, with no fast turns, stops, or accelerations.
- Stop Earlier Than Usual. In driver’s ed you were taught to double the stopping distance if the road is wet. If you’re driving in snow, you need to triple the distance. If there is ice, stop four times earlier than you ordinarily would. Brake SLOWWWLY. You should also be alert for other cars that might not stop in time, especially oncoming cars or those at crossroads. Being t-boned in the ice is a chilling prospect!
- Heed the Dash Warning. If you have a newer car, you’ll have a stability control system warning in your dashboard. It’s a car with squiggly lines behind it. If this is lit in your car, your car has lost traction! Ease up on the accelerator until your vehicle regains its grip.
- Steer into a Skid. If you go into a skid, turn your wheel in the direction you are sliding until you feel that you have traction again. If your back wheels are sliding to the right, for example, turn your wheel to the right. Then, slowly turn back in the direction you want to go. Pro tip: Look where you want to go.
Whether you’re rooting for snow, or hoping that the Arctic weather stays where it belongs, the truth is that there may be a time that you will need to drive on the ice. Keep these tips in mind so that your and your vehicle will stay safe – and mobile – no matter what!