Tips For Driving In Winter Weather


With the first snowfall of the season coming to Webster tomorrow, AAA has shared some tips for driving in the white stuff.

If you have to go out during the storm, you’ll want to give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

Also remember to completely wipe off your car and make sure all windows, lights, sides and the top of your car is clear of snow.  You could be fined up to $200 for driving with snow or ice on top of your vehicle.

Other tips to remember:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly:
    Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. You don’t have to be in a hurry.  Also, take time to slow down for stoplights.  It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly:
    Everything takes longer on roads that are covered in snow.  Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slower than normal.
  • Don’t tailgate:
    The normal rule on dry pavement for following distance is 3 to 4 seconds.  In snowy weather that should be increased to 8 to 10 seconds.  This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes:
    Whether you have anti-lock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it:
    There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills:
    Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill:
    There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home
    If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you think you can drive safely in the snow, not everyone else can.  If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from inside.