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Winter Driving Tips

Posted December 28, 2010 10:47 AM by CarDomain

"The first snow," my father used to say, "eliminates all the idiots and inexperienced from the roads." This certainly seems to have some truth to it. Yes, the East Coast just had a monster blizzard with up to two feet of snow (not including drifts). But there were plenty of accidents scattered about even after just the first few inches fell.

So this seems like as good a time as any for a refresher course on winter driving. Here are some tips (and plenty of common sense) to get the ball rolling.

Relax. A great deal of accidents happen because someone panics and does something like SLAM their brakes.

Take it slow. Who cares if some idiot behind you is tailgating? He will discover why you're driving so slowly when he skids out of control.

Be graceful. Ease off the throttle. Slowly turn the corners.

Think ahead. Always leave more room than you think you'll need to when coming to a stop.

Go 20 mph to make it uphill. Anything slower and it's possible you won't have enough momentum to get up the hill. Anything too fast and once again you can break traction.

Practice in a parking lot. Your level of skill is determined by how many times you've driven in the slippery snowy conditions, and how much experience you have.

The last piece of advice: Don't go faster than you'd like to hit something. And of course, when all else fails, (for example it looks REALLY bad out there) STAY HOME.

What would you add to the list?

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#1

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/28/2010 12:31 PM

Just because your 4-wheel drive gives you more traction for accelerating, doesn't mean that you have any more stopping traction than the 2-wheel drive cars around you (boneheads!).

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#2

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/28/2010 4:20 PM

You left out one important hint. If you start to slide don't use your brakes, use corrective steering. If your starting to slide because you are using your brakes let off the brakes don't push harder because this will make you slide more.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/28/2010 9:32 PM

With older vehicles the braking technique on slippery roads is to pump the brake instead of applying it hard. Of course with ABS that's not valid. You are right about corrective steering vs brakes, in general, brakes should be used gently in snowy or icy conditions.

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#3

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/28/2010 5:22 PM

Make sure your insurance premium is paid up.

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#5

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/28/2010 11:32 PM

In your father's day that was probably true. Now the idiots drive SUVs and because they're idiots they think that their 4WD vehicles have greater traction and so they can drive without regard for road conditions. A few years ago, I drove from Cape Cod to New York in a heavy snow storm and passed 31 accidents all involving SUVs.

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#6

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/29/2010 1:02 AM

Good tires! It where the rubber meets the road. I'll take my VW with good S/T tires over a AWD with crappy radials any day.

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#7

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/29/2010 9:04 AM

VISIBILITY! No-one mentioned this but you can't miss what you didn't see. Clean those windows and mirrors well and use the defroster!

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#8

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/29/2010 12:06 PM

Good Snow tires.

And remember that an object in motion tends to want to stay in the direction of that motion.

Your father was close too correct about removing the idiots from the road. I have found that it just culls the herd.

The idiots just come back.

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#9
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Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/30/2010 1:24 PM

In bad weather I do the following:

I double the distance between the car in the front and me

I turn the wipers as soon as I see that a truck or car is getting closer, anticipating that the swirling snow or slush on the wind shield could reduce my visibility

I do not stop in the white out conditions because I could be hit by a car behind me

My hubby and I listen to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 to calm us down

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/30/2010 1:50 PM

I agree with all of your advise but I like to listen to Ozzy.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Winter Driving Tips

12/30/2010 4:43 PM

I am more fond of Vivaldi, the Four seasons, I forgot to mention that, I turn up the heat as high as it will go. Full defrost when I drive. This will keep most windows ice free. I drive in a "T shirt".

The Parka is for outside.

Always carry a survival kit: flares, candles, shovel, cat litter, blankets, wind shield deicer fluid and energy bars. The absolute rule is to have a full gas tank.

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#12

Re: Winter Driving Tips

01/02/2011 5:53 AM

We've seen this more than once I'm sure, the idiots don't always get involved in the accident , they just caused it and drove away on their way to help cause another.

h

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