We’ve turned the calendar page to the last month of the year, the holiday season is in full swing, and soon the weather conditions will make sure we know it is winter. You know that winter weather drastically changes the driving conditions, but how will you protect your teen drivers this winter?
Driving in winter is not the same is driving in the warm summer months. Even though snow, ice, and sleet make road conditions dangerous, some people never change their driving habits. This can be dangerous. Drivers must prepare to drive carefully in the coming months to protect themselves and others on the road. Review these tips for navigating the roads in the coming months, and teach your teen drivers to be cautious this winter.
Don’t use cruise control
Cruise control is often a convenient feature, but it gives drivers a slower reaction time in wintry conditions. It is better to keep the speed under your control so you can react to icy roads and unexpected changes quickly.
Don’t slam on your brakes if you begin to skid
When you start to lose control and skid, your instincts may tell you to slam on your brakes. This is actually the worst thing you could do. Don’t step on the brake or the accelerator. Instead, take a deep breath, look toward where you want to go, and steer in that direction. Your tires will regain grip and you will have control.
Slow down and don’t follow too closely
Ice can be hard to see, so it is best to go slower than you are used to. Slowing down, especially in low visibility or whiteout conditions, reduces the chances of skidding and losing control of your car. You may need to leave earlier to make it on time, but the extra time is worth the reduced chances of losing control.
When snow falls, clean off your whole car
You may be tempted to just brush the snow off your windshield and windows and hop in the car, but taking the time to brush the snow off your whole car may improve your safety. Blowing snow from the roof of your car can be a hazard for you and fellow drivers.
If you do slide off the road…
If you slide off the road and seem to be stuck, don’t spin your wheels. Turn your wheels side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.You can use a shovel to clear away snow from the tires and pour sand or salt on the path to gain traction. Then use a light touch on the accelerator to ease your car out.
If you are stuck in bad conditions, stay in your car unless there is a warm shelter in sight. It is best to stay in your car and call for help. Prepare by keeping a coat, blanket, flashlight, snow brush, and scraper in your car.
Remember to prepare yourself, be patient, and drive slowly. If the road conditions are very bad, it is best not to drive if possible. Help your teen drivers learn these tips to stay safe on their journey. At D&R Autoworks, we want our customers and their teen drivers to stay safe on the road. Don’t hesitate to stop by the station so we can help you get your cars ready for winter weather.