Reaching your final destination safe and secure in winter, in snowy conditions may not be easy. Managing your vehicle on wet and icy roads may be dangerous for you and other drivers. Additional attention and caution are required than usual driving in winter coniditions.
Even the smallest driving mistakes creates dangerous winter scenarios and can cause accidents with disastrous consequences. Read the list below that refers to the most common mistakes that drivers make in winter. If you find yours, correct yourself and become safe and responsible driver.
Traffic signs for speed limits placed on the roads are designed for driving in ideal weather and dry asphalts. Most drivers bad habit is driving at a speed equal or slightly above than prescribed. Once you find a wet or snowy road and reduced visibility, you should reduce your speed. In bad weather conditions, it takes four to ten times longer to stop your car. Be careful and do not let the seemingly clean or dry pavement to induce a relaxed and speeding. Daily car accidents happen due to loss of control of the vehicle of the frozen road sometimes hardly noticeable. So, reduce the speed!
And do not forget: The acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in winter should be done slowly and carefully!
Not leaving enough space between you and the car ahead
As already mentioned, it takes four to ten times longer to stop your car in bed weather conditions. This means you have to leave a lot more room for stopping and maneuvering. Leave enough space between vehicles, especially if you have a truck or bus in front of you and never attempt to pass them of the right – the trucks take much more space to stop and have a large “blind spot” on the right side. Always leave more space between vehicles, particularly those that are larger than you.
Keep a safe distance
When driving in winter conditions, it is highly recommended the distance between vehicles to be increased three times to ensure minimum stopping time of 8 seconds, or if driving at 13 mph, the distance to the vehicle ahead of you must be four lengths of your vehicle or twelve lengths if you are running at 30 mph.
Looking at the wrong place
Always be focused on the road, your vehicle and the traffic events. Do not focus on the unimportant parts of the vehicle in front of you or parts of the external environment that are not related to the traffic. The ability to properly respond to a possible problem on the road or in traffic depends on your focus, alertness and concentration.
Allowing all-wheel drive to boost your confidence
It’s true that vehicles with four-wheel drive are safer and have better performance in snow, rain and ice because the extra wheel rotations can help you accelerate faster and get away from the jam. But that does not entitle you to drive faster because most of the traction slip comes from the interaction between tire and road and is not related to speed of your tires at the moment. Therefore, it is better to reduce speed and drive slowly and invest in new winter tires.
You are over stressed
Have you ever found yourself in a situation when you’re behind the wheel and you are mortally threatened by the situation that you are about to face? Have you ever brazenly pressed the brake when the vehicle began to slip? Slipping is terrible, but panic only makes it worse. Relax your hands in order to easily maneuver, brake slowly, focus your eyes on the road where you want to move and be gentle with the car.
Performing several maneuvers at a time
Big mistake! Conduct no multiple maneuvers at a time – first slow down gently and slowly, then turn the steering wheel in the direction you want and finally slowly accelerate. Reminder: a combination of braking and maneuvering the wheel is equal to slipping.
You are not ready for what can actually happen (or may happen)
Many times we are surprised by the first snow and road conditions that we are shown on TV, but no one ever assumed that you might be the one to get stuck in the snow or skid the vehicle out of the road. If you get stuck in the snow with your car, most important is to remain calm and in the vehicle. It’s suggested to turn your car on 10 minutes on every hour to keep you warm and slightly open the windows while the car is working in order to ventilate due to emissions. You should always charge your phone before leaving home and have extra charger in the car for emergency situations. If needed, don’t forget the first aid kit.
Prepare yourself, prepare your vehicle and have a safe trip with your loved ones reaching your final destination.