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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Driving Safely in the Snow

22 Nov Blog | Comments

Driving in the snow can be very hazardous. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk. The three most important things that anyone can do to be safe are to stay alert, drive slowly and stay in control of your car.

Before the winter sets in is a good time to make sure your car is in top condition. Make sure your tires are in good condition and fully inflated. It is also a good time to check everything else on your car such as the wipers, battery, brakes, exhaust system and defroster. Snow tires or chains might be appropriate, depending upon where you live.

A slow speed is the key to safe driving in snow. Because tire traction is reduced, the braking distance of a car is severely reduced. Increase the distance between you and the car in front of you, and apply the brakes much more gently than you normally do. Also, take turns much more slowly. A good rule of thumb is to drive at one half of the posted speed limit when driving on snowy roads.

Tire maintenance is critical during the winter. Low tread depth can certainly cause problems on dry roads, but the effect is multiplied when driving in snow or on ice. Also, frequently check your tire pressure. Tire pressure tends to decrease in the winter and under inflated tires cause your car to not react quickly to your steering.

Drivers should be very cautious when they see snowplows on the road. Snowplows or trucks spreading sand or salt tend to travel very slowly. Passing them can be extremely dangerous because sightlines are greatly reduced. Because of blowing snow, visibility may also be restricted.

Black ice may also be a problem in the winter. This occurs in shaded areas, which tend to be much cooler and so ice may form on the roadway. Slow down in shaded areas.

The following tips should help you to drive safely during the winter months: Get the feel of the road by starting slowly. Do not spin your tires when you first start to accelerate. Begin braking three times sooner than you usually would when you are stopping or turning. Use chains or snow tires if they are legal in your area. They are effective in snow, but be aware that snow tires may slide on ice or on packed snow. Slow down and avoid sudden movements. Pump the brakes slowly when stopping. Quickly pressing on the brakes on ice can cause the car to skid and you may lose control of the steering. Be sure to keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you. Make sure your windows are completely clear before you start driving. And lastly, watch out for danger. For example, bridges may be icy even if the roads leading to them are not.

Drive slowly and safely during the winter, making sure your car is in the best possible condition.

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