The weather is turning cold, which means it’s time to remember your seasonal driving skills and prepare accordingly. Winter storms, adverse weather, and poor road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes every winter, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Here are some tips for staying safe when the road is wet, icy, or covered in snow.
Check the forecast.
Avoid driving in bad weather if you can. If the outlook is stormy, consider postponing your trip.
Clear your view.
Before you hit the road, remove ice and snow from your vehicle’s windows, windshield, roof, bumpers, and hood. If your car has sensors or cameras, clear them too.
Take it easy.
On slippery roads, accelerate and decelerate gradually. Avoid sudden starts and stops, especially on hills. Don’t use cruise control.
Stay cool in skids.
If you hit an icy patch, keep calm. Take your foot off the gas, steer straight, and try to refrain from braking. If the back end starts to fishtail, turn the wheel gently in the same direction. Still skidding? With antilock brakes, apply steady pressure. For other systems, gently pump the brake pedal.
Get your car in shape.
Bring your vehicle to any AAA Approved Auto Repair shop for a bumper-to-bumper inspection. Make sure windshield wipers work well, headlights are clean, and both tire pressure and tread are up to par.