Winter weather can be scary, especially in the Triad with its curvy roads and uneven landscape. The roads weren’t paved with winter weather in mind, and it can create hazards for those trying to navigate during the colder months. Since those of us in the south get relatively few opportunities to practice driving in the snow, it’s even more important to keep these helpful tips in mind when the weather does turn south. North?
Driving in Snow and Ice
Stay Back, Jack!
Keep your distance from other drivers. It’s generally understood you should stay three to four seconds behind other vehicles, but during winter weather you should increase that by threefold – at least! There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying as far away from another driver as possible while it’s snowing. You never know when you might hit a patch of ice, or the vehicle in front of you is forced to slow. Give yourself time to react, and even more time for your vehicle to respond.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
You’ll get to where you’re going, even if it takes two to three times as long. Take your time and stay aware of your surrounding. Patience is absolutely key during wintry weather, both for your safety and the safety of those around you. Even passing another vehicle can be dangerous. You never know when they might hit a patch of ice and slide right into your lane. Slow and steady will keep you out of a ditch and get you to where you’re headed.
Don’t Stop (Believin’)
Keep moving. Don’t stop the journey for anything. Get it? Journey?
Anyway, if you can help it, don’t stop. You put yourself at great risk by pulling over. Consider the other vehicles around you and how they might not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you. You run the risk of causing a domino effect of other drivers trying to skid to a stop. It’s almost always better to keep moving forward, even if it’s slowly.
Rock the Boat
Let’s suppose, for just a moment, that you are going up a slight incline and hit a patch of ice or thick snowdrift. There is no one behind you, but you start to sliding backward, your engine revving worthlessly. Do not gun it. Powering through only causes the snow and ice to pack down, becoming more slippery and difficult to traverse. If you can, slowly pump the gas, working your way out of the rut. If you still can’t get out, put it in reverse and try driving around the rut. Once it’s there, no amount of flooring it will ever get you out.