Ontario gets between 150 and 225 centimeters of snow every year, so if you live here, you’re going to have to drive in it. And if you aren’t skilled at driving in the snow, you could end up in one of the nearly half a million motor vehicle accidents that are attributed to winter weather annually.
The personal injury lawyers at Boland Romaine LLP want to keep you from suffering an avoidable injury in a car crash and offer these tips for driving in the snow like a pro.
Slowing down whenever there’s snow on the roads is the best action you can take to avoid an accident. You simply can’t stop as quickly on snow and ice as you can when the road is dry, and the faster you’re driving, the longer it takes you to stop even on dry pavement.
If you hit a patch of ice, you may not be able to stop at all. By slowing down, you decrease the amount of time it takes for you to stop your car and you’re able to spot icy spots more easily.
Accelerate And Brake Slowly
Pressing on the accelerator too quickly will cause your tyres to spin and you might lose control of your vehicle. Instead, press the gas pedal slowly to gradually increase your speed based on the road conditions.
Likewise, braking also needs to slow down. Slamming on your brakes will lock up your tyres and if they’re on an icy surface, may slide out of your lane and into another lane. You also might be tempted to overcorrect, causing you to flip your vehicle.
Increase Following Distance
Even if you’re driving slowly and you know how to accelerate and brake properly, you still need to increase your following distance between you and other vehicles. It takes longer to stop on icy and snow-packed roads, so if the car in front of you stops suddenly, you’ll need an extra five or six seconds to also come to a complete stop.
Other vehicles might see your space as an invitation to come over into your lane. That’s fine. Just slow down and put distance between you and them.
Don’t Stop On A Hill
Hills are no fun when you’re driving because if you stop on an icy road going up a hill, your tyres might lose traction and you’ll slide back down the hill. This is not only frustrating but also very dangerous, particularly for any vehicles behind you.
Try to get your momentum going on flat land before you approach the hill and once you’re headed upward, don’t stop.
Know Your Brakes
Most vehicles have anti-lock brakes these days, but they don’t really help you stop any more quickly. They just help you stay in control of your car, something that wasn’t always possible with older braking systems.
No matter what type of brakes you have, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and apply firm, even pressure on the brake pedal to gradually stop your vehicle.
If you’ve never driven in snow before, it can be quite intimidating, but as long as you slow down, know your vehicle, take all the necessary precautions, and practice often, you’ll be just fine. Then, you’ll just have to watch out for everyone else!