Tips And Tricks For Winter Driving


Bella Lochrane, Staff Writer

As the weather is getting colder in Ohio, the roads are starting to get worse. As the snow begins to fall, drivers are getting more careful on the roads. If you are a new driver just getting accustomed to cold weather or even a veteran driver that just struggles during the winter season, then this article is one to read. The number one impediment to account for while driving in snow is the reduced traction of your vehicle. If you are driving in snow or ice, consider shifting into all wheel drive if you have the option. Four wheel drive assists with traction while driving and can prevent slipping due to more weight being on the road, but the function does not really assist with braking, so still be wary if you think you are invincible to the terrain. Another extremely important tip is to be aware of your speed and to drive much slower than you would on a clear, dry day. This is to prevent your vehicle from slipping and sliding if you need to stop quickly, as due to Newton’s first law, your inertia would be much harder to stop if you needed to stop on a patch of ice at forty miles per hour than twenty five miles per hour. Next, you should be gentle with stopping and starting and be careful with your steering wheel. If the snow is wet and more watery, avoid doing a “jackrabbit start,” when you speed up quickly after starting. Doing this makes it likely for your car to lose traction and can put you in a lot of danger! To prevent this, gently apply the gas when you begin moving after a stop. Next, never jerk the steering wheel in icy conditions, your tires could lose traction on the road and you could slip! If you happen to slip, look where you want to go rather than where your car is skidding to, this could give you a better chance of recovering. Additionally, if you feel a skid with an anti-lock brake system, hold down on the brakes. If your car does not have ABS, you should pump the brakes. As an additional measure for surviving winter weather, you should be sure to pack an ice scraper and a snow brush. You should also be sure to have warm clothing just in case that your car should break down and you are not prepared to wait outside for help. Lastly, you should be sure to have something to contact help if you should find yourself in trouble.