With recent record snowfalls and the effects of “Winter Storm Jonas,” it’s important to know useful driving skills to improve your safety in adverse winter conditions.
Here are some helpful driving tips to consider before hitting the road.
1) Accelerate and decelerate slowly
If your wheels are spinning, then you’re probably trying to move too fast. By slowly accelerating and decelerating, you will reduce the chance of wheels spinning on snow, slush or ice. The more your wheels spin, the deeper you dig your vehicle into a rut.
2) Invest in winter tires
While winter tires are not a fix for every situation, they do make an enormous difference when it comes to keeping your vehicle in control. Though winter tires can be pricey, look at them as an investment for your safety, time and peace of mind.
3) Buckle up and dial down
While you’ve heard it over and over again, the rule still applies – always wear your seat belt. Also, to ensure you’re as focused as possible on driving, turn the radio volume down. Hearing the sounds of your vehicle can help you better handle road conditions.
4) Be ready for a slide
If the rear end of your vehicle slides during a turn, gently let off on the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide itself while keeping your eyes focused on the direction you’re hoping to go. This steering maneuver will help straighten the vehicle out and allow you to regain control.
5) Understand ABS
The anti-lock brake system (ABS) in a vehicle senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking or slippery conditions. When hitting the brakes on a slippery surface, the system will respond with pulses to prevent the brakes from locking, wheels from skidding and allow the vehicle to be steered around obstacles.
6) Embrace four-wheel-drive technologies
While it’s important to be cautious during severe road conditions, it’s also important to understand how four-wheel-drive systems can help. Four-wheel-drive systems in SUVs and trucks are useful for crawling out of snow banks. If you find yourself stuck in a snow bank, slowly engage the low-range gear. Once the vehicle is up to speed, disengage low-range to avoid damaging the system. And, remember, ice is ice and neither four-wheel drive nor all-wheel drive will assist you. The best safety precaution to take when roads are iced over is to stay off the roads as much as possible. If you must go out, take it slow.
Watch the video to learn more about FCA US four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive technologies, as well as winter driving safety.