Help with driving on ice

With colder weather in our future, I'm wondering if anyone has tips for driving in ice and snow? I'm recently moved to an area where we get quite a bunch, but have no idea how to drive in it safely. Any tips?

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3 answers

  • A couple of useful tips.

    • Increase following distance
    • Increase speed and brake slowly. Do not slam on brakes or gas.
    • Don't stop going uphill. AKA always keep moving.
    • Ensure that you have good all-season/winter tires on the vehicle and that they have a decent amount of tread on them (most winter tires should have a "wear bar" so you can see the tread wear, or you can buy a tread-depth gauge from your local auto parts store)
    • Do not rely on your brakes alone, let off the throttle and let the car weight slow itself down before having to hit the brakes
    • Make sure that you can see and be seen -- ensure you have fresh wiper blades installed, have your headlights and tail-lights cleared before starting your journey. And pretty please with a cherry on top, do your best to clear your vehicle itself. All that snow and ice that could fly off your car while moving could be hazardous for others.
    • Learn your brakes -- if you have to rely on ABS there are some handy tips that you can use to ensure that you are braking optimally. I am fortunate to live near a high-school and often take my vehicles into the empty parking lot when the weather is bad to practice. It is fun and informative!
    • Learn how to control your skid -- Also fun to do in an empty parking lot near your home. Find a nice open area and purposely throw your car into a skid and do your best to correct it. I like to practice a few different situations. Straight-lining, cornering, etc

    And two tips that my dear Grandmother always used to give me when she knew I was out driving in poor conditions:

    • Watch out for the other guy! You can be as careful as you'd ever think, but you cannot control the actions of others. Take it easy, be aware of your surroudings including possible obstacles on the road and those pesky other drivers.
    • Last, and definitely not least -- STAY HOME.

    Have fun and most of all, be careful.

    • What an awesome and comprehensive response. I especially like the bit about learning to control your skid... One of the biggest mistakes someone can make in inclement weather is to over-correct. This can totally throw your car off and cause spinning and even flipping. Practice this as much as possible and you will feel infinitely more comfortable on ice.

      Gravity   Aug 25th 2016
  • if you are really worried about it, stay home when it's really coming down. only makes necessary trips. Get snow tires with snow tread, not all-season. some states only allow studded snow tires through a specific date range. Drive slow, hit your throttle and brakes slowly, and give lots of space between you and any other cars.

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