When the snow starts to fly, you’ll be seeing a lot more tow trucks on the road. Police throughout northern states report major increases in accidents every time it snows. Driving on snow and ice is part of winter. It also means more drivers colliding with others — or leaving the road entirely.
To help prevent your vehicle from being one of those pulled away by a tow truck, here are a few tips to help keep you safe when driving on snow and ice.
- Make sure your vehicle has appropriate tires for winter driving. Snow tires or all weather tires are almost always your best bet.
- Treat snowy and icy roads with respect. Even the best tires in the world won’t make up for driver error – or recklessness.
- Always brake with more lead time. Brake slowly, tapping the brake pedals instead of slamming the brakes quickly. Rapid braking can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
- If you start to spin, do not try to steer in the opposite direction – you will almost certainly lose control.
- If you can’t tell if roads are wet or icy, pay close attention to cars ahead of you. If you see the car ahead throwing up spray or slush, you know the roads are wet. If you don’t, you are likely on ice. Drive accordingly.
- If you are new to driving on snow or ice, practice braking, spinning, and spin recovery in a large open area like a parking lot. You’ll get a feel for your vehicle in these driving conditions and will be more comfortable driving actual roads.
- Drive defensively! Although YOU know how to drive on snow and ice, others may not. Always keep an eye peeled for drivers who are driving too fast and keep your distance. Watch other vehicles as they approach stop signs and stop lights – even if you have the right of way, it’s not worth an accident if they are unable to stop prior to reaching the intersection.
If you are a parent of children who are new to driving or getting ready to get their driver’s license, be a good role model and lead by example. Slow down in winter driving conditions, increase following distances, and allow ample time to reach each destination. Being in a hurry when driving on snow and ice is a sure invitation to potential disaster.
Be safe this winter! And if you need new tires, maintenance work, or auto repair in Missoula, give Roemer’s Tire Factory a call. When you’re ready to take on the winter roads, we’ll make sure your vehicle is ready, too.