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Post Time - 9:06 PM Post By - Brown's Collision


Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe this Winter!

You’re coming around a corner when you suddenly hit a sheet of black ice. Your mind starts racing to all the rules of driving on snow and ice and how to control skidding to no avail, because trying to think your way through a situation like this doesn’t work.

Being mentally prepared, knowing your car and making a plan can keep you moving even when the weather has everyone else stalled. Here are seven tips to keep you out of danger.

1. Stopping Distance
Do you have enough room to stop without hitting the car in front of you if traffic comes to an abrupt stop? When you hit the streets filled with a wintery mix, this should be your primary concern. Whether you are driving on black ice or hard-packed sanded snow, stopping distances will vary based on your speed. Motorwise.com says that in the snow it will take 10 times the usual distance to stop. That means you need to increase the car distances in front of you and be prepared to slow down sooner.

2. Steady those wheels
In the frozen northeast, winter often brings the ugly sound of tires spinning on ice and snow. Spinning your tires is the absolute worst way to gain traction as it melts the snow and makes the surface even more slippery. Try backing off of the accelerator and give it just enough gas to make the car move forward. If the car still won’t budge you will need a little assistance by putting sand or cardboard under the tires.

Most modern cars are equipped with a traction feature. The control feature cuts power to the drive wheels when they begin to lose traction and spin. Don’t turn this feature off or try to override it; it’s there to help you drive more safely.

3. Know your vehicle
Is your car front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive? Each of these drive options handle differently. Unless you own a performance car (typically rear-wheel drive), your car is probably front-wheel drive. That’s great news for winter drivers because the weight of the engine is directly over the driving wheels. This will give you better traction and you will be less likely to spin your tires as opposed to a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

If you are involved in an accident, check out our blog on “What To Do If You Are Involved In An Accident”.

If you are unsure what drive type you own, check the specs by entering your vehicle’s information on Edmunds.com’s car appraisal tool.

4. Check your tires

Your tires are crucial for proper traction and being able to stop in snow and ice. Tires come in three main types: summer, all-season and winter. Edmunds.com’s testing found an enormous difference in stopping distances among these three types of tires – in some cases as much as two car lengths.

If your tread is worn, don’t delay buying new tires. Read reviews from other cold-weather drivers to help you find the tires that are right for you.

Brown’s Collision & Coachworks is a family-owned and operated collision repair shop and has been providing the Mohawk Valley and surrounding counties automotive repair needs for over half a century! If you are in need of auto collision repair services contact us.