This week the Midwest has been hit with low temperatures, snow and ice. And there is more to come in the forecast. Make sure you prepare your car and your driving skills for these treacherous conditions. There are things you can do that can keep you safer on the roads when you have to get out to go to work or get the kids to school.
- Leave extra time to get to your destination. Sometimes an extra ten minutes can help us avoid driving faster than we should in winter weather. Be patient on the road.
- Make sure your car is completely clear of snow. Snow and ice can block your view or slide down to block windows. It can also fly off of the car onto other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Make use of your front and rear defrosters and heater before you start driving. This will help melt the snow and ice on the car making it easier to remove so you can have all windows clear while driving.
- Consider all-season tires or snow tires for your car. It is important to have enough tread on tires to help them grip the road and maneuver safely.
- Leave extra space between your car and others in case your car has trouble stopping or staying in your lane.
- Most cars now have antilock brakes. To prevent skids apply gentle pressure to the brake. Accelerate slowly once you gain traction on slippery roads.
- Be extremely cautious around the Snowplow trucks that will be out clearing the roads. Snowplow drivers have limited ability to see behind them and to the side of them so stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud. Don't drive into a snow cloud. Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. Turn off the cruise control and have your full attention on the road. There have been several accidents involving vehicles and Snowplows this year, some even fatal accidents.