With icy roads expected this week, it’s important to drive with caution. Here are five tips for driving safe in winter weather:
1. Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. When icy roadways are involved, the best way to avoid an auto accident is not drive at all. If you must be out, take a winter driving kit, which should include items like bags of salt, a small snow shovel, traction mats, flashlight, gloves, ice scraper, paper towels, blanket and warning flares.
2. No cruise control. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather. Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand). Always look and steer where you want to go, according to AAA.
3. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
4. To correct a skid on ice remove your foot from the accelerator, avoid slamming on the brakes but softly pump the brake pedal, and if your car is skidding in one direction, calmly steer to the opposite direction.
5. Don’t stop if you can avoid it. “There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it,” according to AAA.