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Driving through the Snow

Winter Driving Tips for those Snowy Conditions

As old man winter sets in, the roads becomes a treacherous place for both driver and vehicle. Heavy rains, snow, sleet and ice can create unsafe driving conditions for those frequently travelled roadways. These snowy conditions can often catch drivers off-guard, causing dangerous accidents. However, according to automotive journalist Lauren Fix, snowy conditions can be managed with safe driving and by following these important winter driving tips.

Adjust your speed for current conditions. Slow down when driving during challenging conditions such as winter weather. Decreasing your speed will allow you more time to respond should a difficult situation occur.

Anticipate dangerous situations. Many studies have shown that up to 80 percent of all auto accidents could be prevented with one more second of additional reaction time. Drivers can gain this one second by ensuring they look far enough ahead of their vehicle while driving. This will be helpful in identifying any potentional problems.

Use tire grip effectively. When the road you are traveling on is slippery, always brake in a straight line before any curve in the road. Taking your foot off the brake before steering into a curve allows you to use the entire grip available for steering. However, do not accelerate until the steering wheel is straight.

Drive with your head lights. Whenever daytime visibility is less than clear, be sure to turn on your head lights so other driver's can see your vehicle. Remember this rule of thumb — if you are using your wipers, you should be using your lights. Also, when traveling in snowy conditions remember to regularly clear snow from tail lights, turn signal lights and headlamps.

Don't depend on anti-lock brakes. Although anti-lock braking systems (ABS) offer the ability to brake and steer, they are still limited by the grip available on the road and your vehicle's tires. Even ABS won't keep you on the road if you are driving too fast into a curve while trying to brake.

Use caution when driving at night. Always leave headlamps on low beam when you are driving through snow or fog. This helps minimize reflection and glare, improve visibility and reduce eye fatigue.

Wear quality sunglasses. Quality sunglasses can help highlight changes in the driving terrain and road surfaces, even during low visibility conditions. The best choice for winter driving is polarized lenses.

Start the winter off right by reviewing and following these simple winter driving guidelines and prepare for the slippery road conditions that may lie ahead.

Learn more about winter driving...

Essential Winter Emergency Kit
Winter Driving School
Snowy Tire Testing

Source — Lauren Fix