Severe weather can be terrifying and dangerous. According to studies by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, winter storms, unfavorable weather, and poor road conditions contribute to more than 2,000 fatal wintertime accidents and over half a million crashes overall. Drivers need to be aware of the safety guidelines for handling winter road emergencies. When driving in bad weather, AAA advises motorists to exercise caution.
This Winter, Think Ahead
Looking as far ahead as you can is a good strategy overall, as we just discussed. But since you're probably on familiar ground while driving, you might also benefit from that information. Is there a similar ascent on the opposite side of the valley when you descend that hill?
Perhaps keep your momentum for that. A quarter mile away, is there an off-camber downhill left? You don't need to wait to slow down until you really see it. If you are aware of impending events, drive as though you are the rally's navigator and plan your route in advance.
Don’t Use it to Abuse it
Going easy on the steering wheel, throttle, and brakes is the secret to driving safely in the snow. Why? Tires with a shaky hold on the slick road are readily unsticked by jerky movements with the controls, thus each wheel spin, brake application, and throttle movement must be careful, smooth, and slow.
The best way to achieve this sensitive acceleration goal is to meet the Pedal Commander's ECO mode. If you haven’t heard of Pedal Commander, it’s worth checking out.
Take a Long Focusing Break
You should look—and think—further down the road as it becomes more slick. Consider what action you'll need to do next. For turns, go very slowly. For rainy, snowy, and icy conditions, increase the stopping distance by two times, three times, and even more. Driving safely and skillfully requires increased focus.
Consider Your Destination
Always, always, always look in the direction you intend to go, not in the direction the car is now traveling, if you feel your automobile starting to skid. Anything you're attempting to avoid can be handled by your peripheral vision. Racing drivers are adept at recovering from skids because they are aware that you virtually always end up where you are looking.
Handle the Skids
Your automobile will eventually start to slip away from the direction you want to be going when you hit a slick patch, giving you a sick sensation in the pit of your stomach. Even large skids may be controlled, and you can quickly regain full control of the vehicle. First of all, don't freak out or slam on the brakes! Do the following instead:
Keep your wheels pointing in the direction you want to be traveling regardless of the type of skid you are in. If you believe you can stop without striking anything, you can also softly apply the brakes. Don't be scared to stand on the brake pedal if an impact is about to occur.
Use Anti-Lock Brakes Like This
The anti-lock brakes on your car should be applied if everything else fails and you need to stop as quickly as you can in snow or ice (ABS). Anti-lock brakes, which use an onboard computer to optimize the car's braking in difficult circumstances, are now standard on all new vehicles on the road.
If your car has ABS and you need to avoid an impediment or are in a skid that you can't get out of, press the brake pedal all the way down and don't let up. The rest will be handled by the computer, which will maintain each wheel's forceful braking in accordance with the available traction.
Anti-lock brakes have unquestionably prevented many drivers from a terrible situation, but no safety technology can guarantee you never get into an accident. Don't pull off the brakes when you feel this vibration; it's common for ABS systems to make the brake pedal tremble when they activate to let you know they're operating.
Caution for All-Wheel Drivers
On slick roads, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles may give you a false sense of confidence. They distribute power to all four wheels rather than just two, allowing for amazing, slip-free acceleration on slick terrain, especially when starting from a stop, which can give the impression that you have more traction than you actually do.
Don't be deceived; your car will still behave like any other "regular" car when you press the brake pedal or turn the steering wheel since these technologies do nothing to improve your car's ability to turn or stop in icy circumstances. You can use the method outlined in the previous step to determine how much traction you have.
Play the Road Like an Instrument
The surface is glossy or plain. In the shade, is there a consistent layer of powder or are there bare patches with patches of snow? Is it cold enough to guarantee light, crunchy snow, or is it warm enough to produce a mushy mess? If you're unsure, you can stop the car and get out to inspect the surface, which is a good idea, but by being aware of what you're looking at, you may discover a lot about the traction that is present.
Shiny things are often bad since they indicate either ice or water. Dark areas are misleading because the dry pavement in front of them may give the impression that everything is okay. Additionally, dry snow is preferable to mushy slop. Consider the crunch of dry snow beneath your boots for traction; slush, on the other hand, causes the tires to ride up on top of it like deep water.
Bring the Proper Equipment
You can also prepare your two eyes if you're genuinely worried about your winter excursion. The tow eye can be used to attach a tow strap to vehicles without a hitch or bumper-mounted tow hooks by screwing it into a threaded socket (often hidden by a square plastic cover that pulls out of the bumper).
If you believe you might need a tow, avoid piling a quarter cord of firewood back there before you leave because there is typically where the tow eye is located along with the spare tire in the rear cargo area.
Take the Extra Step to Avoid More Steps!
Your vehicle may or may not have a warranty, but problems related to snow and control may create extra steps that would just bug you out. We have provided many helping agents that would help you avoid these unwanted situations but there is an ultimate helper that can set you up with more control over the cold weather conditions.
Pedal Commander is designed to optimize your accelerator pedal’s throttle response. With Pedal Commander’s modes you can control how fast your car accelerates. While 3 of the 4 major modes are designed as a performance setting, made to accelerate your vehicle faster, ECO mode is there for fuel efficiency up to 20% and better control. Lowering the acceleration rate will help with grasping the earth better and preventing tire slipping. Check out Pedal Commander, made specifically for your vehicle’s make and model!