12 tips for safer winter driving

12 tips for safer winter driving

winter driving
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Rushing on wet, winter roads puts you at greater risk for car crashes. Keep these tips in mind when driving this winter:

  1. Slow down to improve tire traction.
  2. Avoid braking and turning at the same time. Accelerate and decelerate more slowly than you would on dry roads.
  3. Leave plenty of space between your car and the car ahead of you - at least 6 seconds.
  4. Drive with your low-beam headlights on, even during daylight.
  5. Use turn signals, make sure lanes are clear before changing and leave plenty of time to stop.
  6. Avoid using cruise control, which can reduce traction.
  7. If you start to skid, don't slam on the brakes. Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
  8. Avoid puddles when it's safe to do so. 
  9. Always wear your seat belt.
  10. Stay alert and minimize distraction. Don't text, talk on the phone or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  11. In snow and ice, try not to stop when heading up a steep hill. After you've stopped, applying extra gas to get started again may only spin your wheels. Get some momentum going on a flat road as you approach the hill to help you reach the top, then reduce your speed and drive down the hill slowly. 
  12. If your visibility is so limited that you can't see in front of you, carefully pull off to the side of the road and stop completely. 

To learn more safe driving techniques, take the AAA Defensive Driving course, available online or in a classroom near you.