Be Prepared for Winter Driving
Traveling on wintry roadways can be challenging and stressful. Following some simple guidelines will help ensure that you reach your destination safely.
During severe winter storms, consider postponing your trip until travel conditions improve. Stranded vehicles and motorists create additional hazards for plow operators, law enforcement and other emergency responders. When travel is necessary:
- Clear snow and ice from your vehicle’s windows, front and rear lights, roof and hood. Ensure everyone is buckled up.
- Take it slow. Allow extra travel time and following distance. Most winter crashes and slide-offs are caused by drivers going too fast for the existing conditions. Remember, posted speed limits apply to ideal travel conditions.
- Sudden braking or steering can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Use brakes early and carefully. With anti-lock-brakes (ABS), use firm, steady pressure and gently steer. Never use cruise control in wintry weather.
- Don’t be overconfident in your four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle. All vehicles require additional time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Remember that bridge decks/overpasses can be especially slippery, even when adjacent pavements are in good travel condition.
- Watch for snowplows. Stay at least 200 feet behind a working plow and use extra caution if you decide to pass. Plows often create a cloud of snow that can obscure visibility, and road conditions ahead of the plow are likely worse.