Obviously, when it comes to winter driving tips, the best one is to avoid driving in dangerous weather if at all possible. Heed any weather advisory issued, and do your best to run errands before sleet or snow is predicted to arrive. Once winter weather hits, if you can stay home, that is the first and best choice. If, however, you do need to go out, there are some ways you can help protect your own safety as well as that of others, including slowing down, leaving plenty of room between your car and others on the road, and staying calm and alert.
Remember to check the road conditions before you leave. You may want to take a different route if the roads you planned on traveling on are obstructed or unsafe. Certain roads can be more dangerous than others, so adjust your route if necessary, even if you have to take the long way.
One of the most important winter driving tips is to slow down. It takes longer to stop when roads are slippery, and it is simply safer to move at a reduced speed. This means you should allow more time to reach your destination than what it typically takes. Leave early and take your time.
Remember that bridges freeze sooner than other roadways and can quickly become slippery. You may have heard black ice mentioned when winter driving tips were given but you may not be aware of what it is. Black ice generally occurs when cold weather comes in suddenly, quickly freezing even small amounts of moisture on roadways. This ice is often a thin layer, making it very hard to detect. By being aware of the conditions, you can better anticipate black ice.
Some winter driving tips may seem obvious, like leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and others. Some people fail to realize how important this is, however, and don't realize how close they are. It may take double or even triple the distance to stop on slippery roads so keep plenty of space between yourself and others.
Hard braking will often cause you to slide. Try not to panic and to only use brakes gently. You may still skid, but staying calm and alert will help you regain control easier. Another winter driving tip you may have heard before is to steer into the skid; most experts recommend that you steer carefully in the direction that you want the car to travel. Do so as gently as possible, because overcorrecting can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
While many drivers have experience driving in snow, icy roads make it difficult for even the best driver to maneuver. Since people pay so much attention to their own driving, one of the most easily forgotten winter driving tips is to be alert for mistakes made by others. Defensive driving is a necessity when battling severe weather.