- Drive Super Smoothly
When the roads are slick with snow or ice, your tires, naturally, have a harder time getting traction on the surface beneath them. Slow down and be gentle with your steering and your movements to ensure the stability and overall safety of yourself and your vehicle. Remember, easy does it.
- Look As Far Ahead As Possible
There may be situations you find yourself in that are slippery that also hinder your ability to see in front of you. In these particular cases, it’s essential that you take extreme care and caution while driving. If you can see, however, do your best to look as far down the road as possible. See what’s in front of you and what’s around you and anticipate. Driving more slowly will afford you more time to react in the event of a fallen tree or branch or if a rock jumps up and hits your windshield.
- Heed the Flashing Lights
When was the last time you paid attention to the little symbols in front of your steering wheel? These are indicators that illuminate when your car needs something. Basically, your car is sending you a signal saying, “Pay attention! I need some help!”! One symbol that you should pay particular attention to illustrates squiggly lines behind the outline of a car. When this light flashes, it means that the wheels of the car are slipping. It would serve you well to ease up on the accelerator if you ever see this. Once you do, your tires will regain their grip on the road, making it far less likely you will lose control of your car and cause a collision.
Additionally, if you are turning and you see a blinking light, this is what is known as the stability-control system telling you that the car is starting to slide from its intended path. To regain control of the situation, slowly ease up on the gas pedal. Do not accelerate around corners in town on slushy or snowy streets. Remember, it’s best to drive slowly and carefully in these conditions, so in case something happens suddenly, you’ll have plenty of time to react safely.
- Look Here!
If you ever feel your car beginning to slide or skid, always look to where you want to go, not to where your car is going in the given moment.
- Deal with the Skids
Whenever you feel your car sliding or skidding, do not slam on your brakes. For a front-wheel skid, where the front tires lose traction and the car turns in a wider arc than you expect, slowly ease off of the gas. When you do this, the front tires should regain their grip on the road surface.
If it’s your rear wheels skidding, turn your steering wheel in the same direction in which the rear of your vehicle is sliding. Gently ease off of the accelerator and do not brake. As your rear wheels regain their tread, steer your car back in the original direction.
- Use Your Anti-Lock Brakes This Way
Every new vehicle on the road today comes standard with an anti-lock-brake system (ABS). If you find yourself in a situation where your car is sliding and you cannot recover yourself, push the brake pedal down hard and do not let up. The computer system in your car that supplies the ABS will keep each wheel braking as aggressively as possible based on the available traction.
- Constantly Assess Your Traction
Before you do this, make sure there are no cars or objects within close range of your vehicle to ensure that you don’t get hit from behind.
- Beware of All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive vehicles can put you into a false sense of security as a driver, especially on slippery roads. It’s important to note that just because you are driving an all-wheel drive vehicle doesn’t mean you are protected in snowy or slushy weather conditions. Drive with the same amount of caution as you would driving any other type of vehicle.
- Change Your Tires to Winter Tires
Put simply, winter tires provide far more traction and tread on road surfaces than other tires. They perform best in the snow and slush, and even ice.
- Read the Road
When observing the road, shiny is bad. This typically means there’s either ice or water on the road surface. Slush behaves like deep water, making it far more difficult to gain proper traction on a road surface.
- Carry the Right Supplies
If you’re about to embark on any kind of road trip or extended period of time on the road, it’s important to have survival supplies and tools in case of an emergency. So, be sure to have a snow shovel in your car during winter. Salt is another good tool to have if you encounter slick surfaces.