Up until last week it had been an extremely mild winter, so when the snow and freezing temps descended it was a shock to the system.
Vehicles were sliding around corners and into intersections, and people were driving too fast for conditions. While it may take a little bit to get reacquainted with winter driving, most of us know what to do.
When it snows, remember to allow more time than usual to reach your destination.
Also remember to slow down and increase distances between cars. The following distance of three to four seconds for dry pavement should be increased to eight to 10 seconds in snowy weather. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
If you do start to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator and avoid slamming on the brakes. You should softly pump the brakes – this will trigger your ABS to safely lock your brakes. If your car is skidding in one direction, steer in that direction correct your vehicle’s orientation.
Everyone also should watch out for snowplows during and after any less than favorable weather. These drivers risk their safety to make sure we get safely to our destinations, so use caution when you come upon one on the road.
If you’re behind a snowplow, make sure to give them room to work. Yes, they tend to operate more slowly than other traffic, so try to be patient.
Don’t follow too closely. Snowplow drivers can’t see vehicles behind them if they’re too close during times of limited visibility.
It’s hard to know if we’ll get more snow and cold like last week or if it will return to the milder weather we’ve gotten used to recently, but let’s be prepared and stay safe for whatever comes our way.