Tips for Safe Winter Driving

One of the greatest challenges for drivers can be weather. Winter weather can be especially troublesome. During the Winter months, storms can impair visibility, snow and ice can build up on road surfaces, and the cold itself can change the way your tires interact with the pavement. Each one of these challenges can be addressed and mitigated individually to improve your driving experience as a whole. Understanding and applying the principles of physics at play in adverse conditions can form an important part of developing safe Winter driving habits.

Thankfully, the most dangerous factor in driving style is also the easiest to curb. Every potentially risky situation on the road is going to be framed by your awareness, recognition and reaction times. The sooner you are able to observe a risk the sooner you can orient yourself to it, decide on your reaction, and act in the best way possible. The best way to give yourself more opportunities to spot and react to risks is simply to slow down. Every meter per second slower you are traveling is another meter you can put between yourself and a hazard. Even if you do not have enough time to avoid a collision, merely traveling slower can reduce your chance of injury and damage to your vehicle.

The next best way to buy yourself valuable time and perform at your peak is to remain calm. As your blood pressure and pulse rise, your fine motor and reasoning skills will first improve slightly then drop dramatically. Working with your adrenaline is the key to making the snap decisions and smooth corrections that are essential to safe Winter driving. If nothing else, relax and gradually steer in the direction you want your car to go until you start to feel traction and can regain control of your vehicle.

The core of safe Winter driving is moderate speed combined with a cool and collected mindset to maintain or regain control of your vehicle under adverse conditions.

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