Winter driving can create hazardous driving conditions. Both the vehicle and driver must be prepared for bad weather, road conditions and vehicle or equipment failure.
The information on these pages is to prepare both your car and yourself for hazardous winter conditions. Please take the time to review and make sure you and your occupants are safe on every trip.
AAA suggests every vehicle be inspected prior to winter weather. Start with these points:
Here are a few suggestions to help you recognize winter driving hazards while plow trucks are working:
In rear-wheel drive automobiles, you should stay off the brakes and gradually ease off the accelerator. Turn your wheels in the direction the rear end of your vehicle is skidding. If the rear end of the vehicle skids right, steer right. If the rear end of the vehicle skids left, steer left. When front-wheel drive vehicles start to skid when traveling at moderate speeds, you should accelerate slightly and steer in the direction you want to go.
If there is no room to accelerate, shift into neutral or push in the clutch. Remember, front-wheel drive vehicles have positive, accurate, and quick steering; the vehicle goes exactly where you point it. Four-wheel drive vehicles have a tendency of giving the driver a false sense of security.
Therefore, slower speeds on slippery surfaces are extremely important. When traveling at moderate speeds, you should accelerate and steer into the direction of the skid.
At higher speeds, or in the event there is no room to accelerate, you should push in the clutch or with automatic transmission vehicles, shift into neutral.
A hard surface roadway is very slippery just after it starts raining. Water combines with the road dirt and oil to form a slick film between your tires and the roadway surface. When the water on the roadway becomes deeper, another hazardous situation occurs: Hydroplaning. This occurs when your tires ride on the water and not on roadway surface.
Most skids are the result of driving too fast for the road conditions on slippery roadways. The key to safe vehicle operation is slower speeds. Rain reduces visibility and increases the possibility of a dangerous skid. Slow down and be alert.