While many of us travel to work on a subway or bus, others take to driving their own vehicles to work on a daily basis, often in conditions that make the commute less pleasant. Rainy and snowy weather are difficult enough; when icy conditions are added to the mix, treacherous conditions abound even more. Knowing how to drive in unpleasant weather could be a lifesaver when you are confronted with having to do so. Here are some things to keep in mind when the snow starts to fall.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working order—before it’s too late.
- If you live in areas of the country where heavy snow pileup is common, be sure that you have snow tires or chains that are equipped specifically for those types of road conditions.
- Keep a full tank of gas in the car; don’t skimp on filling up the tank or wait until it’s too late to find out that you are nearing “E” on the gas gauge.
- Be sure your cell phone is charged in case of emergency.
Several driving schools and centers operated by the American Automobile Association will offer workshops for driving in snowy and icy water. There are some basic rules to follow that will keep you safe until you can attend one of the in-person or simulated online workshops. When on the road and conditions present themselves with snow or ice, here’s a quick lesson on how you can drive to keep you and your family safe this season:
- Use your windshield wipers to clear the windshield.
- Keep your defroster on so that snow and ice will not build up on your front, side or rear windows.
- Drive slowly. Speeding can cause slipping and loss of road grip, which means less traction to keep your car stable.
- Watch for black ice in areas that are susceptive to the formation of black ice, such as bridges and shady spots on the road.
- Lightly pump your brakes to slow down or avoid a skid.
- Turn in the direction of a skid if you find yourself in the middle of one.
Common sense is your best defense when it comes it driving in weather conditions that can pose all sorts of situations. Staying calm and focused will aid in your travels, and keep everyone in the vehicle safe for the rest of the journey.
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