Winter comes with many dangers, and one of the primary risks is on the road in a snowstorm. Injuries and vehicle crashes are common during a snowstorm, as many drivers don’t know how to maneuver on snowy streets. If you ever get stuck driving during a snowstorm, here are some safety tips to know.
Always Drive Slow
Slowly driving is one of the essential rules in a snowstorm. For example, if you see that the speed limit is 35 miles per hour, drive around 30 or 25 miles per hour.
Driving quickly in the snow will lead to a lack of handling for your car. Braking will be more difficult, and turns will cause you to slide if you don’t take them slowly. In addition, slow turns are essential to driving with a roof rack, as speeding around corners may lead to losing your cargo or tipping over.
Keep Distance Between Vehicles
In normal conditions, you should have a distance between yourself and other vehicles of three to four seconds. But during a snowstorm, you should have a distance of five to six seconds.
This increase in the distance gives you more time to react if the vehicle in front of you slows down suddenly or a crash occurs. Always have enough space and time to react to sudden happenings and avoid getting into an accident yourself.
Avoid Hills If You Can
As snow and ice collect on the roads, hills become more dangerous. You will have less traction and stopping power, and even when your brakes activate, your vehicle could still slide due to gravity.
To stay safe while driving in a snowstorm, drive up or down hills only when necessary. If you drive uphill, don’t stop; this will help you maintain a constant speed to avoid losing traction. When you drive downhill and need to stop, don’t brake. Instead, turn into the direction of the slide the back of your vehicle points toward to reduce speed as much as possible.
Brake Sooner Rather Than Later
When you come to a controlled intersection or a stop sign, begin braking sooner than you would normally. The snow will make it difficult to stop, so you want to have as much time as possible to prevent yourself from sliding into the intersection.
Snowstorms create dangerous conditions on the road. Use these tips to help you drive safely in a sudden snowstorm.