Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Weather Means You Need To Adapt Your Driving

Mother Nature has brought harsh conditions to many regions already this winter and recent weather reports seem to be predicting more of the same. While winter can be a great time for traveling and fun activities like skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, it’s important that drivers learn how to adapt to the challenging conditions winter can present.

The most important thing you can do while driving in winter weather is simply to slow down and pay close attention to your surroundings. Driving at higher speeds can cause tires to spin or “fishtail”, but moving a slower speed will help you maintain control of your car when going across patches of ice and snow. It’s also important to pay extra attention to how others around you are driving. This can help give you a clue about the road conditions ahead, but you should always try to compensate for the weather by giving yourself added stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. Here are some other quick tips:

•Understand what kind of brakes your car has (standard or anti-lock) and how to use them in slippery road conditions.

•Plan ahead by checking road condition reports before you drive and leaving early to give yourself time to drive slowly and safely.

•Put a winter driving kit in your car that includes blankets, water, snacks, a first-aid kit, cell phone, shovel and kitty litter or sand.

I also suggest that all drivers take a look at these AAA brochures, Get A Grip and How to Go on Ice and Snow. For more tips on how to prepare for and handle driving in winter weather, visit the AAAExchange website.

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