Driving in the Snow: How to Stay Safe

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Even the most experienced drivers may face trouble when trying to maneuver their vehicle on snowy roads because of lowered traction and visibility resulting from fog and fewer daylight hours. Here's a quick guide to help you stay safe even when you're driving on snowy roads.

Preparing your car is the most basic step to take before starting off on snowy roads. Check to ensure the tread depth and pressure in your tires is appropriate and make sure your gas tank is well stocked.

You can also keep emergency equipment in your car, along with with tire chains and an ice scraper. If you're getting winter tires, make sure they're the full set for all four wheels. Clear your windshield, windows, and tailpipe of snow. Clogged exhausts can release carbon monoxide into the cabin of the car, and the results can be fatal for those inside.

Once you've checked your car, have a plan in place. Choose the route to your destination that has the least amount of roadblocks or snow covers. Also, ensure you have access to reliable connectivity with your phone and charger and let people know of your plans beforehand.

Be gentle, measured, and smooth in how you handle the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes. There's no shame in moving a little slower on the snow-covered roads for your own safety. Sudden, jerky movements can disrupt your vehicle's grip. Maintain a steady momentum that'll allow you to get ahead and make sure you're braking much earlier than you would in dry road conditions. Avoid using cruise control or relying on all-wheel-drive technologies on snowy roads. These technologies, although brilliant, aren't magical, and severe conditions like this require your full concentration and control.

If you feel like your car is going in for a skid, try not to panic, and whatever you do, don't press the brakes. You can take control from a front-wheel skid by easing off the gas or turning the steering wheel in the same direction of the rear in the case of a rear-wheel skid. Keep your eyes and wheels on where you intend to go, not on where you're skidding off to.

You can also benefit from winter technology that allows for better traction and stability control, as well as anti-lock brakes.

Source: Ford