Some parts of the country already have snow falling. Driving in these conditions can be hazardous. There are more than 1.5 million car accidents associated by poor driving conditions. These conditions are usually caused by bad weather. Poor driving conditions killed 7,000 people and injured 800,000.
You certainly do not want to become a statistic.
Top mistakes people make driving in the snow
Driving too fast
Did you know it takes 4 to 10 times longer to brake on icy or snowy asphalt than it does on dry pavement Driving too fast can reduce the amount of time you react to a situation and can add to the severity of any collision you might have. If it is freezing or below, reduce your speed. If the roads have no iced up, they probably will.
Following too closely
Following too closely in poor weather or snowy conditions will definitely reduce your reaction time for anything the car in front of you does. It is recommend that you double or even triple your normal distance in between autos. Reaction time is increased if you double your distance and may give you the extra time you need if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly.
Slamming on brakes
Tires slipping on the ice or snow can cause panic and make you want to slam on the brakes. When you do this, it may cause you to lose traction from your tires and your ability to control your car or truck. When you find yourself skidding or the tires losing traction you should immediately take your foot off the accelerator and steer your way out of a collision. Have you ever watched a car lock there brakes up on snowy or icy conditions? What happened? They just went completely out of control; the idea is to stay in control.
Anti lock brakes are really useful in situations like these. They allow the tire to keep moving and keep traction, while slowing down. Apply even pressure with an ABS system.
False sense of security
Four wheel drive and ABS give people a false sense of security when driving in snowy conditions. Four wheel drive does give an advantage in snow conditions, there no doubt about it. But what it can do is give you a false sense of security.
Some may think they can run down the road just as they do on dry pavement, while they probably could, they may have a hard time stopping. SUV’s are a lot heavier than cars and require more stopping distance. Four wheel drive and all wheel drive are fantastic, but it does not make them invincible.
Be prepared for what might come
Don’t be caught off guard by changing weather. I found myself driving to Breckenridge, Co last year with deteriorating weather. It was getting late, we arrived in the town of Breckenridge only to find cars sliding all over the place. The roads were icing up and I was in a front wheel drive rental car. This car could barely make up the last light out of town. I should have gotten a heavy SUV. I was not expecting the weather to change so rapidly, I was caught off guard.
- Tires-do you need snow tires or new ones
- Antifreeze-check your antifreeze for proper level
- Battery level-Nothing worse than having a dead cell in your battery and be out in the middle of nowhere and your car won’t start, have your battery checked
- Defroster-make sure your defroster is functioning correctly. Make sure you have no moisture or water in your car or in your trunk. This can fog your windows up and the defroster won’t be able to clear them.
- Snow shovel and cat litter- you might find yourself having to dig out of a situation.
- Snow scraper-scrape that ice off the windshield
- Might want to bring that ole rusty snow shovel along with some cat litter. Flare, snow scraper and flashlight might be good to bring along.
- Extra blankets or survival blanket-If you car breaks down and its cold, you will get cold
- Cell phone-make sure its charged
Protect yourself and your family, be careful when you drive in these poor weather conditions.