How should you drive in winter weather?
- Buckle up before you start driving. Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
- SLOW DOWN! – posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. Driving at reduced speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on slippery roads. “Black ice” is invis
- Be alert. Black ice will make a road look like shiney new asphalt. Pavement should look grey-white in winter.
- Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times.
- Reduce your speed while approaching intersections covered with ice or snow.
- Allow for extra travelling time or even consider delaying a trip if the weather is inclement.
- Drive with low-beam headlights on. Not only are they brighter than daytime running lights but turning them on also activates the tail lights. This makes your vehicle more visible.
- Lengthen your following distance behind the vehicle ahead of you. Stopping distance on an icy road is double that of stopping on a dry one. For example, from around 45 meters (140 ft) at the speed of 60 km/h, to 80 meters (over 260 ft) on an icy road surface.
- Stay in the right-hand lane except when passing and use turn signals when changing lanes.)
- Steer with smooth and precise movements. Changing lanes too quickly and jerky steering while braking or accelerating can cause skidding.
- skidding. Be aware and slow down when you see a sign warning that you are approaching a bridge. Steel and concrete bridges are likely to be icy even when there is no ice on the asphalt surface, (because bridges over open air cool down faster than roads which tend to be insulated somewhat by solid ground.)
- Consider getting off the road before getting stranded if the weather is worsening.
- Be patient and pass other cars only when it is safe to do so.
What should you do if you start to skid?
- Above all DO NOT PANIC!
Look where you want your vehicle to go and steer in this direction
- NOT BRAKE!
- DO NOT ACCELERATE!
Disconnect the driving force on the drive wheels by doing either of the following
- If you’re using automatic transmission, shift to neutral. However, if you cannot do that immediately, do not touch the transmission gear.
- If you’re using manual transmission, declutch.
What should you do if you get stuck or stranded in the snow?
- Don’t panic!
- Avoid over-exertion and over-exposure to the cold. Cold weather can put extra stress on the heart and contribute to the hazards of over-exertion. Sweaty clothes next to the skin are not good insulators against the cold.
- Stay in the car if you cannot shovel your car out of the snow.
- Stay in the car in blizzard conditions – Do not leave the car for assistance unless help is visible within about 90 metres or 100 yards.
- Turn on flashing lights or set up flares. A brightly coloured cloth on the radio antenna may make your vehicle more visible in daylight.
- Run the car engine occasionally (about 10 minutes every hour) to provide heat (and to conserve fuel). Ensure that the tail exhaust pipe is free of snow and keep the window opened slightly (on the side shielded from the wind) to prevent the build up of carbon monoxide when the engine is running.
- Bundle up in a blanket. If there is more than one person in the car, share – two people sharing blankets will be warmer than either person alone in a blanket.
- Wear a hat and scarf – the head and neck are major sources of heat loss from the body.
- Monitor for any signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Do not fall asleep. If there is more than one person in the car, take turns sleeping.
- Do not stay in one position too long. Do some exercises to help the circulation – move arms and legs, clap your hands, etc.
- Watch for traffic or rescuers.