Winter driving tips

Winter driving tips

Credit: Getty Images

Winter driving tips

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by KING 5 News

kvue.com

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 2:09 AM

Winter driving conditions are back. That means someone is going to spin out, crash or get stuck on a hill eventually – something that will slow everyone else down. Here are tips to avoid being that driver.

To avoid being that driver, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol and automotive website Edmunds.com offers these tips:

  • Defrost your windshield before you drive.
  • Drive slower and accelerate slower in winter conditions.
  • Don't pump your brakes. For people with antilock (ABS) brakes, Edmunds.com says to stomp and stay on them, then steer out of the way of the obstacle you are approaching. If you don't have ABS, Edmunds.com says push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly.
  • Don't oversteer. If you oversteer and your vehicle regains traction, it may send you in a direction you don't want to go.
  • Use your headlights, even in the daytime.
  • Don’t use cruise control.
  • Four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles do not help you stop or steer better on the ice.
  • Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Remember that the bigger the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, offramps, bridges or shady spots. These are usually the spots with the most ice.
  • When the snow falls, stay 15 car lengths behind de-icing trucks. It’s tempting to get right behind them, but the truck driver has a limited field of vision. Don’t pass unless you’re sure it’s safe or until the plow has pulled off the road.
  • If approaching a truck that’s coming the opposite direction, slow down and try to give it a little extra room. It may throw some snow and ice on your vehicle.
  • Make sure your car's fluids are at the proper level, tires are properly inflated and that windshield wipers and light bulbs are working properly.
  • Carry extra weight in the back of your vehicle.
  • Carry a shovel, first aid supplies, gloves, a flashlight, blankets and an ice scraper in case you get stuck.
  • If you are involved in a collision, stay in your vehicle.

 

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