Winter driving tips from the pros
*Test road conditions frequently:
When driving in challenging conditions, determine how much traction or grip is available. Make sure no one is behind you and hit the brakes firmly until the wheels lock up.
*Know your car, know your brakes:
Know if you have anti-lock or traditional brakes. With traditional brakes the cadence, or pumping, technique is effective, but the driver must lift off of the brake if steering is required, to avoid an obstacle. With anti-lock brakes, also known as ABS, the computer can pump the brakes while still maintaining some steering effectiveness.
*Use grip efficiently:
When roads are slick, use all of the grip, or traction, available for one action at a time. Brake only in a straight line prior to the curve. Take your foot off the brake before you steer into the curve. Accelerate only when you are able to straighten the steering wheel at the exit of the turn.
*Be alert at intersections and hills:
Typically the slipperiest portions of the roads are at intersections and hills, where many people have had to brake in the same area. Drivers should accelerate or brake in areas that offer better grip. When stopping on ice, brake harder early and then lighten the pressure on the pedal as the car slows.
*Turn on your headlights:
Best rule of thumb: wipers on – lights on.
*Use winter tires in winter conditions:
With two identical vehicles, one with all-season tires and one with winter tires, traction can vary by as much as 50 percent.
*Don’t overestimate the capability of SUVs:
Remember, four-wheel drive does not to brake or turn corners.
*Courtesy of Bridgestone Winter Driving School
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