According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, the top five concerns Michigan motorists have about driving during hazardous road conditions such as snow and rain are:
1. Being hit by another driver
2. Skidding / losing control of vehicle
3. Poor visibility
4. Drivers speeding
5. Getting stuck
With this in mind, Michigan motorists are reminded that when it comes to driving in winter weather conditions, it's important to revisit the safe winter driving playbook. Although this holds true for even the most seasoned driver, additional caution is urged for new and mature drivers when it comes to the hazards of snow and ice. These tips are for everyone:
AAA Top Ten Tips for Winter Driving
1. Before starting out, remove ice and snow from the entire car, mirrors and lights so you have clear driving visibility.
2. Don't use cruise control in precipitation and freezing temperatures.
3. Remember that four-wheel drive helps you to get going quicker, but it won't help you stop any faster.
4. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle's braking system. Drivers with anti-lock brakes should apply firm, constant pressure while those without may need to pump the pedal in order to avoid loss of traction while stopping.
5. Always drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions – even if that means driving below the posted speed limit.
6. Compensate for reduced traction by increasing your following distances (normally three to four seconds) to eight to ten seconds.
7. Allow sufficient room for maintenance vehicles and plows, stay at least 15 car lengths (200 feet) back and, if you need to pass, go to the other vehicle's left.
8. Watch for icy surfaces on bridges and intersections, even if the rest of the road seems to be in good condition.
9. If you get stuck in snow or ice, straighten the wheel and accelerate slowly. Add sand or cat litter under the drive wheels to help avoid spinning the tires.
10. If your tires lose traction, continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go. If the drive wheels start to spin or slide while going up a hill, ease off the accelerator slightly and then gently resume speed.
Additional winter weather driving tips are available through at this link.
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