Wintertime means cold temperatures and crummy driving conditions. Snow and ice can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you’re not used to driving on slippery surfaces. Not to mention, there tends to be less daylight during this time of year, further increasing the risks of driving. Read on to learn about some winter driving tips to keep you safe this winter.
According to Wired, winter tires are much better than all-wheel drive. Although some believe that four-wheel drive keeps you safe in the winter, it really only increases acceleration and prevents you from getting stuck; however, it doesn’t prevent you from sliding. Winter tires have extra-thick treads for added grip, as well as special channels to divert water. Plus, winter tires are made with special rubber compounds to hold up in freezing temperatures.
You should also drive slower in the winter. By slowing the speed at which you drive, you give your tires the opportunity to find grip when speeding up and changing direction. Slowing also decreases the risk of injury in an accident and it increases the length of reaction time you have in a dangerous driving situation.
Finally, learn how to drive on ice. Your first tendency when slipping will likely be to steer in the opposite direction; however, this often causes you to drift, sliding further than normal. The best thing to do is to gradually apply the brakes (avoid slamming, especially if you don’t have ABS) and steer into the slide. This will generate the most friction, slowing you as quickly as possible. If you have time, get to know how your car feels when sliding by driving in an empty lot. Be sure to watch out for parking blocks!