What Michigan Drivers Should Know About Driving in Snow and Ice

What Michigan Drivers Should Know About Driving in Snow and Ice

While there are songs about Walking in a Winter Wonderland, driving in winter weather isn’t quite as magical.  According to the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were over 200,000 crashes reported in Michigan due to driving in snow and ice during the 2016 to 2020 winter seasons. Those crashes resulted in 370 fatalities and thousands of serious injuries. That’s why adapting your driving style for winter road conditions is imperative.

Driving in Snow and Ice: 5 Tips for Michigan Drivers

The key to navigating slick winter roads is to slowly and smoothly operate your vehicle’s controls. Here are five tips that can help Michigan drivers slow down and stay in control on the road this winter.

1. Stopping distances are up to 10x greater

In snow or ice, leaving as much as ten times the usual space for braking distance is recommended. Tap the brakes on and off, rather than using them firmly.

2. The Unseen Threat of Icy Bridges

Bridges and overpasses ice over before the main roadways and stay frozen longer. They can be extremely dangerous because they don’t match the condition of other roads and catch drivers by surprise. Always use extra caution and assume the possibility of ice when driving over an elevated roadway like a bridge or overpass.

3. Avoid driving in the wheel tracks of other vehicles on unsalted roads.

If you’re driving on a road that has not been salted yet, you may be tempted to follow the tire tracks of other vehicles. However,  this packed snow will likely be icier than fresh snow and make it harder to control your vehicle.

4. Start to break when approaching a curve in the road.

It’s essential to slow down and begin to brake when approaching a bend in the road before you start to turn your steering wheel. Leading with your steering wheel may cause your vehicle to skid.

5. Stay calm and gently steer into it if your vehicle skids.

Rough, jerky movements or slamming on your brakes when sliding on ice can make you lose control of your vehicle. Instead, lift your foot off the gas and brake, and gently steer in the direction your car is sliding.

Preparation is Key When Dealing with Winter Road Conditions

Preparation is Key When Dealing with Winter Road Conditions

Preparation is key when it comes to dealing with winter road conditions. Michigan drivers should switch to winter tires to ensure maximum tire grip and control of their vehicle. Keeping an emergency kit in your car is also a good idea, especially during winter. That kit could include the following:

  • Blankets
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Clothing
  • First Aid kit
  • Roadside Emergency Warning Triangle
  • Water

Another critical element for preparing for driving in snow and ice is having a plan in place if you get into an accident this winter. That includes having a repair facility in mind that you can trust to complete repairs promptly and get you safely back on the road.

About Michigan Auto Body Shop, Pole Position Auto Body

For over three decades, Pole Position Auto Body has been a trusted resource for repairing and restoring Metro Detroiter’s vehicles. Since safety is our top priority, our experienced technicians have regular training in technology and techniques to maintain and repair current vehicle models. We understand that your time is valuable and complete repairs on average three days sooner than other facilities.

Call Pole Position Auto Body: 586-775-4825 Where Excellence is a Habit, Not an Act!