Our fleet fuel card company knows that as winter continues on, colder states are likely to experience snow and ice accumulations on the roads, which could lead to bad driving conditions. It’s important to remember that driving in wintry weather can be tricky and there are certain actions you should take while driving to make it safer for both yourself and the drivers around you.
Headlights, Distance, and Braking
First of all, make sure your headlights are on so that other cars can easily identify you. Then, as you drive, take it slow and keep a safe distance (about three car lengths) from the vehicle in front of you. To avoid skidding when you have to stop, press the brake gently; if your wheels lock up, ease off the brake and regain control before you start to brake again. When faced with hills, keep your vehicle in a low gear to maintain your traction and if you’re traveling on a highway, don’t use cruise control on icy roads. You’ll have a better chance at losing control of the vehicle.
If You Skid…
Often times when the roads are slippery, a vehicle’s wheels may skid (especially if you’re driving a vehicle with only two-wheel drive, as opposed to all-wheel or four-wheel drive). What you should remember is if your wheels begin to skid, let off of the accelerator and turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid to correct it.
What to Do When You Get Stuck
Lastly, if you get stuck in snow, don’t continue to accelerate. This will only spin your tires and dig you further into the snow. Instead, move your tires back and forth to push the snow away and clear a path. If this doesn’t help, use a shovel to clear out the snow underneath the tires. As another back-up, keep a bag of sand or kitty litter in your car and spread some over the snow to make a path for your tires.