Thanksgiving is over and that means winter is just around the corner. While Hampton Roads is by no means a snow magnet, we are pretty much guaranteed at least a little of the white stuff every year and plenty of ice throughout the season. Of course, the best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. If you must go out during poor weather conditions, here are some of our tips for winter weather driving.
If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared and that you know how to handle road conditions.
Here are a few tips for winter weather driving safety on icy/snowy roads:
- Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Keep your lights and windshield clean.
- Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
- Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
- Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.