Winter Driving Tips-Part 4

I have a friend who lives in Indiana.  Driving gets really bad there when it is snowing and freezing.  People up North have techniques/strategies on how to drive on icy roads especially driving on wintery conditions.  Living in Indiana for almost four years now, my friend has already adapted to the weather conditions and driving techniques there.  Here is the last part (Part 4) of the tips on preparing yourself and your car for the cold facts of winter travel.

If you start to skid:

– Try not to panic.

– Do not brake.

– Do not accelerate.

– Steer in the direction you want your vehicle to go.

– Shift automatic transmissions into neutral; disengage gear on manual transmission.

  • If you get stuck in the snow:

– Try not to panic.

– If you can’t shovel your car out of the snow, remain in the car.

– In blizzard conditions, do not leave the car unless you can see help within 100 yards of teh vehicle.

– Bundle up in a blanket; share to keep  warmer.

– Wear a hat and scarf to keep your body heat loss to a minimum.

– Don’t allow the entire group to fall asleep at once; take turns sleeping.

– Don’t remain in one position too long; move around to keep your circulation going.

– Always have one person assigned to watch for traffic or rescue vehicles.

– Avoid over-exertion and extreme perspiration as having wet clothes against your skin creates poor insulation.

If you are a careful driver you know that the best road defense is anticipating crises and avoiding them as often as possible.  Keep these winter driving tips in mind to save your vehicle from damage and may be even the lives of you and your family.

Germania Today, Winter 2011

How To Drive In Wintery Conditions?

Do you take extra precaution while driving in wintery conditions?  Are you a careless driver?  Well don’t be.  Because you and your family’s safety while driving in wintery conditions depends on how you control your vehicle.  Here is the continuation, Part 3, of the tips on preparing yourself and your car for the cold facts of winter travel.

Remain in control of your vehicle

  • Be sure everyone buckles up and remains buckled at all times.
  • Don’t speed.  Posted speed limits are set for ideal travel conditions; in winter, reduce your speed to avoid skids from “black ice” and other hazards.

NOTE:  Black ice makes road look like new, shiny asphalt.

  • Avoid using cruise control so you remain in full control of your vehicle.
  • Use low-beam headlights, even if you have daytime running lights.  Low beams will make your vehicle more visible because the taillights will be on.
  • Increase your following distance behind the vehicle ahead of you.

NOTE:  Stopping distance on ice roads is double that of stopping on dry ones.

  • Stay in the right-hand lane except when passing.  Be patient and pass only when it’s safe to do so.
  • Always use your turn signals when changing lanes.
  • Avoid skidding:

-Steer with smooth, precise movements

-Change lanes gradually and avoid braking or accelerating quickly

  • Slow down when approaching steel and concrete bridges, as their  surfaces are more likely to be icy.
  • If the weather seems to be worsening, consider pulling off the road to avoid being stranded.
  • Brake wisely if you face an emergency braking situation:

-If you have anti-lock brakes, keep your heel on the floor and use your toes to press the brake pedal firmly until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.  Do not pump the brake pedal.

If you do not have anti-lock brakes, use the same heel/toe technique but do not pump the pedal until you come to a stop.

To be continued…

Germania Today, Winter 2011

Prepare Yourself And Your Car For The Cold Facts Of Winter Travel – Part 2

How do you prepare for winter road travel?  Here is the continuation of the tips on preparing for the cold facts of winter travel.

Prepare for the Drive

Before leaving your home…

  • Plan and map your route.
  • Check road reports and weather conditions for your entire travel route.  If you will be driving for  several days, check conditions every morning before you head out.
  • Plan for delays; give yourself plenty of time to arrive on schedule.
  • Avoid driving when tired – and NEVER drive after drinking.
  • Share your route and anticipated schedule with friends and family.
  • Wear layers of comfortable clothes; stop in a safe spot and add or remove layers.

GPS or Global Positioning System is very useful now.  If you are comfortable using the device, go ahead.  But always carry a map with you.  It, still, is very helpful.

To be continued…

Germania Today, Winter 2011