Serious Snow? Five Driving Mistakes to Avoid
Driving Mistakes during Snowy Conditions
We won’t sugarcoat it: we like the snowy season in Rhode Island. It brings out the Frank Capraesque nature of our many historic communities, and everything just looks so much more homey. Of course, it also comes with its share of hazards, several of which we’ve already outlined here. The most obvious of these is, of course, the snow and ice. But what mistakes do we make during snowy conditions that we can avoid in hopes of staying safe? Here are a few.
1) Driving too fast. This should be obvious. When there is ice cover on the roads, experts predict that stopping distances can increase by as much as ten times! Speeding only exacerbates this problem, and can cause all sorts of problems when traveling on curvy roads as well.Stay on the road this winter by avoiding these driving mistakes!
2) Slamming on the brakes. This ties into Mistake #1. When you must hit the brakes in a hurry, don’t panic and simply slam on them. This will send your vehicle into a slide, eliminating any control you might have over your vehicle. Simply apply firm pressure and let up gently every so often, helping you retain control.
3) Following too closely behind other vehicles. Experts estimate that you should double your following distance when traveling in snowy or icy conditions, estimating four car lengths for every 10 mph that you are driving. This would mean, for example, that if you’re traveling 30 mph, you’d want to give yourself 12 car lengths between cars, thus allowing for safe stopping in the event of traffic issues.
4) Not being prepared. Let’s be frank here: winter weather is no joke, and being unprepared is about the worst mistake you can make. Put snow tires on your car if necessary, make sure fluids are filled and that your defrost functions work properly. Additionally, make a kit with kitty litter, a shovel, a flashlight, a blanket and some foodstuffs is recommended as well.
5) Putting too much faith in your 4WD. This happens a lot. A driver will think that he or she is indestructible because they have four-wheel-drive, and then that overconfidence gets them in trouble. Even if you have 4WD, this is designed to make all your wheels go, but it doesn’t do anything to help all of your wheels stop. Therefore, still be careful even in 4WD.
We hope that these mistakes will be avoided during the upcoming winter weather season. And, on behalf of all of us at Speedcraft VW, safe travels!