This time of year requires special attention when you’re out on the road. Why? Changing conditions from ice, snow and slush can quickly alter your ability to control your car, and to stop before, say, hitting a bridge abutment. As Tom and Ray say,
Do everything slowly and gently. Remember, in the snow, the tires are always just barely grabbing the road. Accelerate slowly and gently, turn slowly and gently, and brake slowly and gently. To do this, you have to anticipate turns and stops. That means what? Going slowly and leaving and leaving plenty of distance between you and other cars. Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control. Drive as if there were eggs on the bottoms of your feet – step on the gas and the brake pedals so gently that you don’t break the eggshell.
It’s good advice. One thing you might not realize, is that you can safely practice your winter driving, just by finding a large, wintry parking lot. Here’s their suggested route to building up your winter driving confidence:
If you’re nervous about driving in winter, consider spending some time practicing. Go to an empty parking lot and try sending the car into a little skid on purpose. Slam on the brakes, then practice turning into the skid and see what happens – and practice until you’re comfortable regaining control of the car. Doing this in a large, empty parking lot (preferably without light poles) allows you the luxury of skidding without ending up flat on your back, looking up into the eyes of seven different EMTs. The more comfortable you are maintaining control and regaining control, the better a winter driver you’ll be. Oh, and one more thing.
Those are just a few of their tips for these wintry months. You can check out their full list of 18 tips, and share yours, right here.
P.S. And while you’re there– let the folks at Car Talk know if you’ve ever used a snow traction device, like chains. They’re gathering reviews from other Car Talk visitors, right now.