Now that cold weather has descended upon Richmond and other parts of the nation, many drivers are faced with increasingly dangerous winter roads. Even if you are a safe and careful driver, you may still find yourself contending with hazardous situations that can quickly result in a serious crash. While you can’t prevent all accidents from occurring, the following winter driving tips can help you mitigate the risk.
According to Consumer Reports, reaction times are often diminished when traveling on icy roads. In this case, reducing your vehicle’s speed is highly recommended. Traveling at a lower rate of speed will ensure your tires retain their grip in wet weather, while also affording enough time to react should you need to stop suddenly. Along with decreased speed, you can improve control of a vehicle by performing one activity at a time (such as turning, braking, etc.)
Despite your best efforts your vehicle might still lose traction. Should this happen, slowly and deliberately remove your foot from the accelerator and gently turn the car into the direction of the slide. Additionally, don’t rely too heavily on a vehicle’s 4-wheel or all-wheel drive capabilities. While this can be useful for improving traction when accelerating, these functions are no use when navigating corners or braking.
As important as proper habits are when driving in winter, ensuring your vehicle is ready before setting out is equally so. Take some time to completely clear snow and slush from your vehicle to prevent visibility issues from affecting you or other drivers. You must also remove all accumulated ice from the windshield to make sure your view is not obstructed while driving. Only clearing a small portion is extremely dangerous and can result in devastating injuries.