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The best way to stay safe during snowy and icy road conditions is to stay off the roads! Although, if it cannot be avoided, the Weather Channel lists these safe driving tips for adverse weather conditions:
-Wait until snow plows or sanding trucks have made their routes. -Allow extra time to reach your destination. -Pratice driving in an empty snowy parking lot to get familiar with how your car handles in the snow and ice.
Once you are on the roads: -Drive slowly and leave more than usual space between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow for braking. -Brake slowly to avoid skidding. Ease off the brake if your wheels lock up. -Drive with your lights on, even in the daytime. Make sure your headlights are clean, along with your windshield, for ultimate visibility. -To keep traction, drive in low gears, especially on hills. Also avoid cruise control and overdrive. -Use extra precaution on overpasses, bridges or other infrequently traveled roadways, as these will freeze over first. You may encounter black ice in shady areas even if its slightly warmer than freezing temperatures. -If you see a snow plowing or sanding truck on the road, do not pass them. The drivers have poor visibility and the roads ahead of them will be in worse condition than those behind. -Even 4-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles have problems in adverse weather conditions. Do not assume your vehicle can handle any and all conditions.
If your rear wheels begin to skid: -Remove pressure on the accelerator. -If the rear wheels are skidding to the left, steer the steering wheel to the left. Vice versa if they are slidding to the right. If your wheels start going the opposite direction while trying to recover, gently steer in that direction. You may have to steer in both directions a few times to regain control. -If you have anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure to the brake petal- do not pump. You will feel the brakes pulse, this is normal. If you have standard brakes, pump the brake petal gently.
If your front wheels begin to skid: -Do not try to steer, take your foot off the accelerator and shift to neutral. -As the front wheels slid sideways, the vehicle will slow and regain traction. When this happens, direct your steering wheel in the direction you want to go, shift to drive and gently apply the gas.
If your vehicle gets stuck: -You will only dig deeper in the snow or ice if you spin wheels. -To get the snow out of the way, turn your tires from side to side. -To ease out, lightly accelerate your vehicle. -Remove the snow around your wheels and underneath your car with a shovel. -To aid with traction, pour kitty litter or sand in the path of your wheels. -Try shifting forward then to reverse, applying a little gas each time you're in gear. Check your manual first, as this may damage your transmission.