Winter Weather Driving
Updated: May 29, 2019
Snow, ice and wind are a part of living in Iowa during the winter, which means most of us will need to drive in those conditions at some point. This can be stressful and challenging, even for the experienced driver.
Here are a few winter safety driving tips to help you get home safely:
Snow and ice – when roads are covered with slippery snow and ice, it reduces the amount of traction your tires have and changes response times which can make your vehicle much harder to control.
Slow Down – driving slowly helps maintain control on the snowy and icy roads. Accelerating, turning and stopping take longer as it is less predictable.
Know Your Brakes – Most modern cars have anti-lock brakes, so in an emergency you should press the brake pedal as hard as you can and the vehicle will do the work of slowing the car. If you have a traditional braking system, you will need to pump the pedal gently to regain traction and control.
Remember to keep a longer following distance than you normally would. Stay eight to ten seconds behind the vehicle in front of you because you need twice the distance you would when the pavement is dry.
Keep Going – Try not to stop on ice or snow if you can avoid it. Experts suggest to keep a steady pace when rolling into turns, as you approach stop signs or stop lights and as you go up or down hills. Maintain enough speed to keep moving but don’t power up hills because your wheels can start spinning. Make sure you have enough, yet not too much momentum before reaching the hill. Then start reducing power as you reach the crest.
Don’t forget to check the Exhaust – This can be a fatal mistake. If it’s clogged with snow, ice or road debris and the engine is running you risk filling your car with deadly, odorless carbon monoxide.
Promote Visibility – Winter weather reduces visibility, so keep your headlights cleared off. There’s a significant opportunity to reduce crashes if drivers see trouble sooner.
Be Prepared for the Worst – Sometimes is the safest to stay home. If your destination is not urgent, wait until the weather is better. If you must drive, make sure your gas tank is at least half full in case you are stranded and need to keep your car running for heat. Put a blanket, non-perishable food, water, some gloves and an extra phone charger in your vehicle.
Keep in mind, we coordinate with ALL insurance companies and work on ALL types of vehicles. You can have your vehicle towed here if need be - just give us a call and we can help you navigate what to do! 515-967-9000