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What You Need to Know About Snow Driving

car driving on snow covered road

If you have to do any sort of travel in the snow, you know it can be annoying. However, it can also be incredibly dangerous. That’s true across the country, just look at the car accidents in Redondo Beach caused by winter conditions each year. 

Thankfully, there are a handful of simple tips that can help keep you safe and stress-free in the wintertime. Before you attempt to drive in even the smallest amount of snow, here’s what you need to know about snow driving.

Keep it Smooth and Controlled

One of the best ways to drive safely in the snow is to avoid jerky movements when you’re operating your vehicle. That goes for turning the steering wheel, pushing on the gas pedal and the brakes, and making turns. A good way to do this is to imagine you have a cup of coffee in your lap and you’re trying not to spill it. Your movements will be far more controlled and safer.

Look and Think Ahead

When you’re driving in slippery conditions you generally need to double your stopping distance, but you should calculate it by triple in the snow. Look ahead and try to anticipate when you might need to stop or turn, as well as what the vehicles in front of you might do. 

Gently slowing down is much safer than having to slam your brakes on in slippery conditions. The more your speed increases, the worse an accident can become as your car’s momentum is carried across snow or ice. Even the smallest amount of ice can cause this unfortunate scenario, leading to the need for a San Francisco wrongful death attorney in worst case scenarios. 

Keep Your Eyes on Where You Want to Go

When your car starts to skid or you’re out of control, instead of looking at where your car is heading you’ll want to look towards where you want to go. People that drive professionally, like race car drivers, would tell you that they almost always end up where they’re looking. That’s one of the main reasons they’re so good at recovering from skids and potential accidents.

Know What To Do In Case Your Car Skids

For front-wheel vehicles, ease off the gas and keep the car pointing in the direction you want to go until traction returns. For a rear-wheel vehicle, you’ll want to turn the steering wheel in the same direction as the back-end is sliding as soon as you start to skid. You’ll also want to ease off the gas pedal. In both cases, stay calm and avoid slamming on the brakes.

What To Do If a Crash is Unavoidable

Newer vehicles are equipped with Anti-Lock-Brakes that utilizes your car’s computer to maximize your car’s braking system in adverse conditions. If you’re headed for an unavoidable crash or you can’t recover from a skid, just push the brake pedal and keep it there while continuing to steer. The computer brake system will adjust your brakes while you slow down.

Get Good Winter Tires

Winter tires, more commonly known as snow tires, are essential for driving in cold or snowy weather. The absolute most important thing you can do to make sure you’re driving safely in the snow is to get a good set of winter tires that provide traction in cold weather, sleet, snow, slush, and ice. You’ll save yourself a ton of money and stress if you invest in a full set for the winter.