Safety Tips for Driving on Icy and Snowy Roads This Winter Season (Part 2)

These winter driving safety tips, which include information on how to respond when cars skid on ice, can help prepare you for driving on icy roads this holiday season.

Picking up from Safety Tips for Driving on Icy and Snowy Roads this Winter Season (Part 1), here are some additional winter driving safety tips that can protect you and your family during your travels this holiday season. While Part 1 of this blog focused on what to do to prepare your car for winter driving, here in Part 2, we will focus on tips for safely operating your vehicle on icy and snowy roads.

In general, when driving on icy roads:

  • Drive slower and make sure to keep greater distances between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following. A good rule to follow is to triple the typical distance between your vehicle and the vehicles in front of it. You will want to keep such distances because it will take a lot longer to slow down and stop your car on icy roads.
  • Gently apply the brakes when slowing or stopping your car to reduce the chances of skidding. Ease off the brakes if you can feel the car’s wheels start to lock up.
  • Make sure your lights and windshield are clean and use your lights during the daytime to improve visibility.
  • Do NOT try to pass snow trucks or plows, and be sure to give these vehicles plenty of space, as the drivers have many blind spots.

If your vehicle starts to skid:

  • Stop stepping down on the accelerator.
  • Steer the car in opposition to rear-wheel skids – meaning that you should steer right if the rear wheels are skidding to the right (or left if the rear wheels are skidding to the left).
  • Gently pump the brakes if you have standard brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, do NOT pump the brakes; instead, step down on the brake pedal.
  • If your front wheels start to skid, shift the car into neutral and refrain from immediately trying to steer the vehicle.

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