5 Mistakes You Make While Driving in the Snow

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With all of the bad weather this week we thought we’d point out some mistakes you make while driving in the snow, so that you can avoid them and drive more safely.

1) Tailgating.

No we don’t mean at football games…many drivers on 695/495/really any major highway in the area make a bad habit out of following the vehicle in front of them too closely.  We’ve seen you out there!  This lessens your reaction time which becomes dangerous if there’s a problem with the vehicle ahead of you and you need to slow down suddenly.

Try to be proactive and look ahead for stoplights, stop signs, brake lights, and curves in the road so you can give yourself adequate time to brake or steer around them.

2) Slamming on your brakes.

If you do start to slip the last thing you want to do is slam on your brakes. Stay calm! Take your foot off the gas and brake gently. If you do start skidding in one direction or another, you need to turn your wheel gently in the direction you want your front end to go.

3) Failing to clear snow off the vehicle.

Windows and lights must be kept clear so drivers can see and be seen. If drivers can’t see it, how can they avoid it? If they can’t be seen, how can others avoid them? Let’s use common sense people.  It takes 10 minutes to clear off your car.  Just do it.  It’s not worth the risk  you take when you limit your visibility.

4) Using cruise control.

Driving with cruise control has become almost second nature to most of us. Sure its convenient, but driving with it on in winter conditions can be unsafe.  Using cruise control in the snow, ice or even rain is dangerous because if/when your car hydroplanes or skids, the car can accelerate and spin the wheels, attempting to maintain a constant speed.

5) Driving with low gas.

Driving with less than half a tank of gas is risky in the winter. If you’re low on gas when snow strikes, you could get stranded with a vehicle that won’t move. This situation is not just inconvenient, it can be dangerous and embarrassing.
 
Having sufficient gas also helps prevent gas line freeze-ups due to condensation on an empty gas tank.

 Do you have any other tips for winter drivers? Share them in the comments.

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