Safer Behind the Wheel: How to Stay in Control in Icy Conditions

Safer Behind the Wheel: How to Stay in Control in Snow or Ice

The snow is here, bringing with it the chance to build snowmen and send the kids speeding down hills on sleds. When it comes to driving in these conditions, however; you’ll want to be in a bit more control of your vehicles. Take note of these helpful tips for increased peace of mind when out on the roads in snowy conditions.

1. Prepare

Before the first snowflake has even fallen it’s a good idea to check that your tires and wipers are both in tip-top condition – they’re both essential for safe driving in these conditions. Next, check that you have plenty of windshield fluid & de-icer in the car. Hopefully with our driving tips you’ll safely make your way from place to place in the snow. However, if you do get stuck make sure you have a little survival kit of essentials in the car including a blanket, shovel, phone charger and flashlight. Finally, before you hit the road check the weather & traffic reports to plan the best route, avoiding delays and drifts.

2 Slow Down

The key to driving in inclement weather is to do everything as smoothly as possible. Not only does this decrease the likelihood of an accident but the slower you drive, the less of an impact there will be if a crash occurs. When pulling away try to do so slowly, in 2nd gear if possible if you’re driving stick shift. If you need to change direction or change your speed make sure to do so gradually and avoid jerking movements. Tap the brakes on and off, rather than using them firmly. Stopping distances are up to 10x greater in snow/ice so make sure you do so in plenty of time.

3. Controlling a Spin

If you lose control of the vehicle and begin to spin, the best thing to do is gently steer into the spin. Though your instincts will tell you to make big movements, or jam on the brakes, it’s important to stay calm and avoid the brakes as this will only make the spin worse. Simply steer into it and the car will start to pull in the opposite direction. Be prepared to correct as the car may then spin the opposite way (this is known as fishtailing) but if you stick to steering into the spin you’ll soon be back in control.

4. Getting Unstuck from Snow

Clear the snow from around the vehicle, paying particular attention to the tires, underside and exhaust pipe.  It may be necessary to put down some salt or grit around the tires to provide traction – in a pinch your floor mats can be used for this but they will get pretty ruined in the process. Next, try to pull away as slowly as possible, rev gently and avoid spinning the wheels as this slicks the snow into ice. If you can; try rocking back and forth to gain momentum to get you on the move again.

About Pole Position Auto Body, Collision Shop in Metro Detroit

Pole Position Auto Body has been serving the Metro Detroit area for over 30 years. We are located in Warren, Michigan just minutes away from Roseville, Centerline and Detroit.

If you are involved in an accident, the last thing you need is to worry about who you can trust to repair your vehicle.  Let our highly trained technicians and state of the art color matching system get you back on the road quickly and stress-free. We have a proven track record of providing high quality repairs nearly 3 days quicker than the average facility.

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