The snowy weather has finally made its first visit to the Baltimore area this past weekend with disastrous consequences on the roads. Unfortunately, car crashes due to bad weather conditions are common nationwide, with an estimated 1.5 million of them annually that lead to an estimated 7,000 people killed and 800,000 injured every year. There are a few common mistakes that people make when they drive in the snow. Today we’re going to highlight four of them.
1. Four-Wheel Drive
Vehicles with four-wheel drive do tend to perform better in snowy conditions than FWD and RWD, but having this technology can backfire. Some drivers gain a false sense of security and assume they can drive as they do normally when the snow and ice descend on the roads. The truth is that four wheel drive will only give you added traction to move forward – it will not help you gain traction when you need to brake.
2. Proper Preparation
Unfortunately, most drivers are not prepared for driving in the wintry weather when the first snowstorm appears. Their cars are not ready and they may have forgotten their winter driving techniques. Make sure you and your vehicle are ready for winter by checking the tire tread, your antifreeze levels, and purchasing snow tires.
3. Tailing on the Roads
Inexperienced drivers do not leave enough room between their vehicles and the ones ahead of them. This lessens your reaction time in case of an emergency in the best of conditions – now imagine how little room for error you have in less than ideal conditions. It is recommended that you give yourself a minimum of six seconds of braking distance – for every 10 mph of speed, you should leave four car lengths of space.
4. Slamming on the Brakes
When your tires start to slip, it’s only natural to panic and slam on the brakes. But this is a really bad habit. Slamming on the brakes causes your tires to lose traction and remove your ability to control the vehicle. When you feel yourself start to skid, ease off the accelerator calmly and let the car slow down on its own. Moving tires still have some traction, which will be required to steer yourself out of danger.
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