12 Tips for Driving Safely in the Snow
Luckily, we have pretty mild weather in the forecast for the next few days. However, the snow season is upon us. It won’t be long before road conditions become hazardous due to winter weather. Here are some tips for driving in less-than-ideal conditions.
12 TIPS FOR DRIVING IN SNOW
- Be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is equipped for winter. Check out our Pre-Winter Car Care series for more information.
- Check road conditions before leaving. The new Maryland 511 program allows you to check conditions by simply calling 511, and you can even sign up to receive updates via text. Also, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s CHART (Coordinated Highways Action Response Team) program provides video footage of roadways and up-to-date Maryland Highway & Traffic Information.
- Use low beam headlights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Avoid sharp steering or changing speed quickly.
- Keep your lights and windshield clean.
- Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
- Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
- Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
- Slow down when approaching bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads, which will be the first to freeze in cold weather. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
- Drive carefully. Often times you can’t see the ice on the road, and it may be hidden beneath a thin blanket of snow. Also, plowed roads may refreeze at night or have icy patches from the daylight thawing of snow.
- Decrease your speed and increase following distance between your vehicle and others on the road, especially snowplows. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Never pass a snow plow or salt/sanding truck, especially a plow train. Plow trains are groups of trucks which form a line across the lanes to clear snow. Operators may not see you or your car may get caught on a snow-covered plow edge. In addition, driving will be much easier if you stay at least 25 feet, or three car lengths, behind the snow emergency vehicle.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below & BE SAFE!