We all know this season comes with more hazardous weather, but knowing how to drive in snow safely starts by making sure your car is ready for winter.
Once you know your car is prepared to take on the snow, ice, and subzero temperatures we often see in Northern Indiana, make sure you’re ready to drive in snow and ice safely.
Don’t Rely On Cruise Control
Cruise control is a fantastic feature, especially when you’re heading off on long drives across state lines. However, when the roads are potentially icy and the weather is unpredictable, it can be a liability.
You want to have the most control possible over your vehicle during snowy conditions, including acceleration and deceleration.
Understand How To Use ABS
Almost all new vehicles have anti-lock braking systems (ABS) as a standard feature. It helps you steer better in emergencies by restoring traction to your tires. However, if you’ve never had your ABS system engage it might startle you!
It generally will pulse or vibrate when it kicks in and the ABS icon may light up on your dashboard. All of this is totally normal. Continue to firmly press your brake pedal and allow ABS to help.
Increase The Distance
Now is not the time to tailgate or get too close to the car in front of you. Increase your following distance to give your car more time to stop suddenly if necessary in winter conditions that can make it harder to stop quickly.
Don’t Floor It Going Up Hills
If you’re driving through hills or mountains in snowy weather, resist the urge to apply extra pressure to the gas pedal going uphill. When you do this on snow-covered roads, you risk spinning your wheels and getting stuck.
Instead try to get a little extra speed approaching the hill, letting that force carry you to the top. Once you get to the top, dramatically reduce your speed and head downhill slowly.
Safely Handle Skidding
Skids happen in snow and ice and knowing how to safely handle your car when it begins to slide is essential to staying safe.
When you feel your car begin to skid, focus on the direction where you want your car to do, not where it is skidding (a tip from racecar drivers).
Don’t panic and hit the brakes, that can make the skid worse. Instead, ease off the gas if you feel your front tires lose traction and skid. After a few seconds, you should get traction back and ease back in the direction you want to go.
For a rear-wheel skid, quickly turn your steering wheel in the same direction. Ease off the gas and don’t hit the brakes. As your rear wheels regain traction on the road you can steer back in the correct direction.
If you’re in a skid you can’t seem to recover from and your car has an ABS, engage it by pushing the brake pedal all the way down hard without letting up on it.
The computer in your car will adjust the braking force at each wheel to give you the best chance of stopping safely.
We’re Here To Help!
We’re proud to be your local full-service car repair and maintenance shop with two convenient locations in Warsaw. We also have free pick-up available with our Boggs Driver service for oil changes and preventative maintenance.
No appointment is necessary for oil changes at Boggs Pit Stop, but if you’d like to schedule an oil change or any other car repair or maintenance services at Boggs Automotive, click below to give us a call.