How to Drive Safely in Snow

Learning how to drive safely in the snow is important no matter if you have the best car for snow or not. Here's what you should do.

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How to Drive Safely in Snow

Everyone needs to learn how to drive safely in the snow if there’s any chance you’ll be behind the wheel during this type of storm, but you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or afraid of doing so. With a few winter driving safety tips, you can minimize the risks to you and feel more confident when you get behind the wheel. To do this, consider these guides to help you.

Winter Driving Tips for First Time Drivers

First time drivers are at the biggest disadvantage when they get behind the wheel. It can be scary to drive in these conditions for the first time, but there are a few simple things that can help. The most important winter driving tip is to reduce your speed. By going slower, your tires have more opportunity to grip the roadway. This helps to give it more traction. It is also important to remember that if the roads are very bad, you shouldn’t drive. Avoid driving if your tires are spinning or if the roads are not clear. As a first time driver, you don’t want to get caught in a snowbank because your vehicle slides off the road.

Winter Driving Safety – How to Minimize Accidents

There are a few other ways to minimize risks and accidents. For winter driving safety, focus on visibility. If you cannot see in front of your vehicle, pull over to the side of the road to wait for the snow squall to pass. You also want to consider switching to a lower gear on your car if you are going downhill or over icy areas. Next, be sure you have your lights on, your windshield wipers in good condition, and the interior lights of your car off. This helps improve your visibility.

If you are in an accident, pull to the side of the road to contact the police. Your auto insurance may help cover your losses if you have collision insurance. If you hit another driver during a winter storm, your car insurance can help cover the losses they suffer, too. However, avoiding accidents should always be your goal.

Tips for Driving in the Snow – Prepare Your Car

When the winter weather rolls around, be ready for it. Talk to your mechanic about tips for driving in the snow. For example, you may want to improve the quality of your tires. Snow tires have more tread on them, allowing them to hold onto the road surface more effectively. You also want to make sure to have a safety kit in your vehicle. It should include road flares, blankets, and basic supplies in case you get stuck.

If you have a vehicle that is very lightweight in the back, such as a pickup truck, place something heavy in the bed. This can help to give you more weight. You may also want to consider purchasing a vehicle with four-wheel drive if you are likely to drive in the snow often.

Driving in the Snow with Defensive Driving Tips

Driving in the snow means being alert and focused on what is happening outside of your window. Defensive driving methods work here. Turn off the radio and keep yourself calm throughout the drive. Drive slowly but try to follow in the tracks of the person in front of you. If you are driving in heavy snow, you’ll want to keep a significant amount of distance between you and the person in front of you. This gives you more time to slow down and stop if they stop. It is also a good idea to remain in the slower lane especially if you think you may need to pull over at some point.

Driving Tips for Slipping in the Snow

One of the biggest risks while driving is slipping on ice and snow. If you begin to slide, the best driving tip is to steer into the skid. That is, don’t jerk the wheel in the opposite direction. This can create a dangerous situation. Instead, take your foot off the gas and slowly press the brake. Allow the car to move in the direction it is going until it comes to a stop.

It can be very hard to see all types of ice, especially black ice. If the temperature outside is between 30 and 35, assume there is black ice on any wet surface. Avoid these areas when possible. If you are driving over them, go slow and don’t hit the brakes hard.

Driving safely in snow can be a challenge. Before the winter months occur, be sure you have proper collision insurance to help prevent you from suffering financial damage after this type of event occurs. If you do get into an accident, talk to your auto insurance agent about filing a claim.