Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Are you ready for winter driving? Check your knowledge by taking this small quiz….
#1: Is Black Ice Shiny or Matte?
Ice forms when the road is wet and its surface temperature drops below freezing. Black ice is a thin layer of ice that forms on the road, but instead of looking icy, the road appears wet. It usually has a matte appearance rather than glossy. It tends to form at night or early in the morning, and drivers don’t typically notice it until they've lost control. If you encounter black ice, stay calm. Keep the steering wheel straight and do not hit the brakes. Ease off the gas pedal to slow yourself down.
#2: Should you pass a snow plow?
Some snow plows stagger multiple plows to cover all lanes and clear the entire roadway in one sweep. It is extremely dangerous for drivers to pass a snow plow in this situation as they could enter white-out conditions and ridges of snow between lanes. Even passing a regular snow plow on the right can be dangerous.
#3: If your vehicle starts to skid, should you look and steer where you are going or where you want to go?
Answer: Where you want to go.
The best way to get out of a skid is to actually steer the car where you want to go by looking at your intended path. Then, gently steer the car there. Smoothly steer your car in the direction you want it to travel. If your car does start to skid, take your foot off the gas, keep both hands on the wheel, look where you want to go, and then steer there.
#4: If you have Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), should you pump the brakes?
Answer: No. Keep your foot firmly on the brake – do not pump it. When you press on the brakes hard enough to make the wheels lock momentarily, you will typically feel the brake pedal vibrate and pulse back against your foot. This is normal. Do not pump the pedal or remove your foot from the brake. The system is working as it was designed to work.
Remember, driving in ice and snow conditions can be very challenging. Make sure to allow extra time and to keep more distance between you and the car ahead of you than you normally would. Slow down in general and if possible, stay home.