Winter has come on scene . . . hard. Meaning lots of snow and ice for Kentuckians. There is much to enjoy about the snow. It’s beautiful to look at and snowball fights are fun. Driving in inclement winter weather, not so much. So, we have put together a couple of snow driving tips to help keep you safe if you must venture out on the roads.
Most importantly – if you don’t have to drive during inclement winter weather, DON’T. We recommend staying off the roads as much as possible during snow and ice storms, AND during the aftermath. Emergency and snow crews are overwhelmed and trying to keep everyone as safe as possible. And the less people out the better able they are to clean up the roads and respond to accidents and emergencies.
When the roads are covered in snow or ice and you are thinking about leaving the house, a good question to ask yourself is: Is leaving the house worth the potential car accident or slipping injury that could take place because of stepping out? Chances are it’s not.
Whether it’s 10 AM or 10 PM, make sure your lights are on when you drive in the snow. This will not only make road conditions more visible to you, but it will also make you more noticeable to others on the road.
When possible, use your high beams as light tends to reflect more on icy surfaces. Keep an eye out for glare on the roads and avoid when possible to curb your vehicle from slipping.
Finally, try to take roads that are well lit. The more visible the road is to you, the safer you are likely to be.
This seems obvious, but it is worth stressing. Snow and ice will significantly increase your brake and turn time and make it more difficult to respond if you need to take evasive action. This is still true, even if you drive an all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle or 4-wheel drive.
Also, as a rule of thumb, stay at least 4 car-lengths away from vehicles in front of you, and try to avoid driving right next to other cars in the event that a car slips.
Cruise control is great and saves lots of people from speeding tickets. But during inclement weather, it’s not your friend. Using cruise control may prevent you from recognizing a change in traction on the road. This one or two second delay in being able to act on traction changes is often all it takes for your vehicle to slip out of control.
It can be tempting to get a little heavy on the brake while driving in winter weather. First, we refer back to the point about slowing down, and increase follow distances. To brake, the best option for slowing down is to release the gas and GENTLY press the brake. If you begin to slip, pump the brake lightly to help slow down without sliding all over the place.
If you rely on one hard braking motion to slow down, your brakes could lock, and you could end up in a ditch or crashing into another vehicle as a result.
Much of this is common sense, but it is always helpful to brush up on basics sometimes, especially when faced with winter weather, like we are right now. If you were involved in a car accident with another vehicle due to snow or inclement weather, contact us immediately for a free consultation at (859)209-2101.