During the winter months in the midwest, ice and snow can always be in the forecast. To help in these challenging seasonal conditions, let’s revisit the skills and precautions required for safe winter driving.
Driving in such extreme wintry conditions is filled with inherent risk, so it should always be avoided. But if you really have to venture out, there are a few things you can do and techniques you can use to make sure you stay as safe as you possibly can.
So if you are discouraged by the idea of driving when the snow is thick, read through our safe driving tips – they might make you feel a little more at ease.
- Get the feel of the road by starting out slowly and testing your steering control and braking ability. Avoid spinning your tires when you start by gently pressing your gas pedal until the car starts to roll. Start slowing down at least three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.
- Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most effective, and they should be used where ice and snow remain on the roadway. Remember that snow tires will slide on ice or packed snow so keep your distance.
- Reduce your speed to correspond with conditions. There is no such thing as a “safe” speed range at which you may drive on snow or ice. You must be extremely cautious until you are able to determine how much traction you can expect from your tires.
- When stopping, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel and pump the brake gently. Avoid locking of brakes on glazed ice as it will cause a loss of steering and control.
- Keep your windows clear. Don’t start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean – even if you’re only going a short distance.
- Watch for danger or slippery spots ahead. Ice may remain on bridges even though the rest of the road is clear. Snow and ice also stick longer in shaded areas.
Safe Following Distance During Winter Weather Conditions
The snow is back again. When driving during major inclement weather such as snow, ice, heavy rain, etc., increase your safe following distance to a minimum of 6 seconds (during extreme icing events, as much as 10 seconds is recommended). Also, try not to rush during poor weather conditions. Take your time, and keep your distance.
If you are dealing with a winter car accident, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee today at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you.
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