Though Colorado enjoys mild winter temperatures and more nice days than nasty ones, the weather here can turn fast. Usually, snowstorms and icy road conditions can be predicted, but don’t let ice take you by surprise. If you absolutely must drive during adverse conditions, put safety first. Here are a few basic tips for driving on ice and snow.
1. Take it Slow
The most obvious way to safely navigate slippery roads is to slow down. Try not to be influenced by other cars around you. Go at a speed that you feel is safe and manageable. If you need to, turn on your hazards to let other vehicles know you’re taking it slower. This also makes it easier to brake should you feel the car start to drift.
2. Add some Weight
If you have a smaller vehicle, you might be more prone to sliding around on the ice. A helpful trick for keeping the vehicle steady is to add some weight. Put a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk to help even out the weight distribution. The sand might also come in handy to add some tread if your tires get stuck!
3. Plan Ahead
Keep an eye on your surroundings and plan ahead to make your reaction time quicker. If you see a light turning red, know you’ll need time to brake safely. If there are lots of cars next to you and you need to change lanes, signal early. If you see a patch of ice ahead of you, slow down and leave your foot on the brake.
4. Be Gentle with Braking
One of the most helpful ice driving skills you can have is knowing what to do when you do slide. Panic can make us want to slam on the brakes, but that can actually cause more problems on icy roads. Instead of slamming, gently pump the brakes to ease to a stop. This prevents the tires from completely skidding and you losing control of the car. Slowly pump the brake and keep your hands on the wheel until you slow down or head in the right direction.
Driving during the snow or on ice can be scary, but having some practice and basic knowledge will help you know what to do to prevent accidents. Though the safest choice is to avoid driving during dangerous weather, sometimes we just have to. Keep these tips in mind next time you find yourself out during bad winter weather. From all of us here at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!