Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top 10 Tips Safe Winter Driving

If you happened to be out on Monday night with that little bit of snowfall, it was quite a shock.  Accidents were everywhere.  Here are a few reminders of how to proceed with caution in inclement weather.

1. Take your time and check the forecast.  Do you really have to go out in bad weather?  Face to face is always a great social and business contact but technology can connect you in an instant across the world. Email, texting, live chat and Skye can save your pretty face for another favorable day, weather permitting.

2. Out if milk? Dry cereal isn't so bad and instant oatmeal requires water only.  You shouldn't be out of water.  Spice it up, use a little cinnamon. Out of cinnamon?  Start over again with step #1.

3. Clear all the snow off your car before you leave your spot for clear visibility and the safety of others on the road with you.  Flying ice and snow is dangerous.
4. Slow down

5. Leave plenty of room between you and the cars in front of you.

6. Pay attention.  You might think you have it under control but there are a lot more variables to contend with. You have no control over the actions of other drivers.  You have have to work with what you have. Stay aware.

7. Never slam on the breaks. Brake early. If you have ABS brakes like I do, keep you foot on the brake to slow down even when it makes that pumping sound and feel, this is normal.  Regular brakes are to be pumped gently.  If you slam, you will spin. Read your manual to determine the best practice for you and your vehicle.

8. Got the spins? Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go if you find yourself in a skid. Stay off the pedals (gas and brake) until you are able to maintain control of your vehicle. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front. This advice was found at the United States Department of Transportation, "Tips for Safe Winter Driving", under the pdf heading "Know Your Car". I wanted to quote the professionals because I think this is the easiest one to get wrong.  We all panic when we lose control. THIS IS A REAL IMPORTANT ONE.

9. also has a great list to rundown before you find yourself in a precarious situation.  Do the research and be prepared.  We are not all the experts like we think we are.

10. Even if it means taking the longer way home, stay on the main roads and just take your time, and wear your seat belt.  It could be a bumpy ride and let your people know you are on the road and where you are going. You could be late. Use the cell in case of emergency only. Let them know, I'll call you, don't call me.  It can be distracting.

I like snow and get all excited when it snows and have no inhibitions driving in it.  Ice is a whole other animal in my opinion and it is white knuckle time and you have to have your A+ game on. That involves staying off the road when it is advised and leave the roads to the pros. Let them get the job done without getting in the way of their progress. True the snowfall on Monday did not amount to much but you never know when your number will be called.

Happy Motoring and Stay Safe!

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