Thursday, December 16, 2010

Driving During Bad Weather

Living in the Midwest has brought us from warm weather and sunny skies, to cold winds and snow covered streets in a drastic way this year. With the weather changing so rapidly, our friends over at Marquitz Buick, Cadillac, GMC in Troy, Missouri want to provide you with some tips for driving in the snow and ice. The best tip available for driving in bad weather is to not drive at all. Although, it is understandable that not driving is the safest way to avoid accidents, it is not realistic and sometimes a trip to the grocery store is necessary.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed, and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space between your vehicle, and the one in front of you.
  2. Brake with slight pressure, and release the brake if you detect slippage.
  3. Drive with your headlights on.
  4. Remove snow, and any road grime from headlights and windshield.
  5. Ice patches can be found in several spots even with temperatures above freezing. Be careful when driving on roads that are not traveled often.

If your wheels skid

  1. Take your foot off the gas pedal, and steer in the direction the vehicle is traveling. If the vehicle is sliding right, steer right. You may have to steer left and right a few times in order to get the vehicle completely under control.
  2. Most vehicles come standard with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), and you will need to put steady pressure on the pedal to help reduce the skid.

If you get stuck

  1. Always travel with a cell phone in order to call for help if necessary.
  2. Do not spin your wheels as this will dig the vehicle in deeper.
  3. Try to clear the snow in front of the tires with either a shovel, or by turning the tires from side to side.
  4. Place kitty litter, gravel, or salt in front of your tires to help gain traction.
  5. Attempt to rock the vehicle back and forth. Check the owner’s manual first before attempting.

More information can be found at, with the National Safety Council, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Washington State Government Information & Services.

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