When it’s snowing heavily out, the best thing to do is just stay home if you can. Let the snow pile up and the winds blow! Curl up with a good book on the couch and maybe do some binge watching on Netflix.
But what if you can’t stay home? Maybe your child is sick and needs medicine. Maybe you have to go to work. Whatever the reason, here are some safety recommendations when hitting the road in the snow.
Prepare your vehicle
Before even getting in the car, make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid and that your windshield is cleared of all snow and ice. Remove all snow from your vehicle so that it doesn’t hinder your driving or fly off and hit another car. You should also make sure your car’s exhaust pipe is cleared of snow.
Checking the air in your tires beforehand to make sure they are properly inflated will also ensure your car is driving smoothly.
Drive slower and avoid sudden stops
Once you head out on the snowy roads, you will want to go much slower than you would on dry roads as stopping and turning takes longer when the roadways are poor. Even if you have all wheel drive or four wheel drive, you still should limit your speed. All wheel drive vehicles can definitely help you get out of snowed-in parking spots, but they respond the same as any other vehicle when turning or braking on snow and ice. Be sure to avoid sudden stops and leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
Don’t stop when going uphill
Keep your pace steady when going up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will get your wheels spinning. Also if you can avoid it don’t stop on a hill. Momentum is your friend when the roads are slippery.
Be aware going downhill
When going downhill, reduce your speed and proceed as slowly as possible. Take your foot off the gas and work or pump the brakes. If you feel the car start to slide, slow down even further. Let gravity be your guide.
Even though every nerve in your body may be on edge, you need to take a deep breath and stay calm. Look and steer the car in the direction you want to go and, slowly try to turn in that direction. Take your foot off the brake and allow the car to regain traction on the road. Then, resume driving, but much more slowly.
We hope these tips will help you drive a little safer the next time you have to go out and drive in the snow. Don’t forget to also make sure you have the correct coverage on your auto insurance in Massachusetts with MAPFRE. Make sure to talk to an independent agent in your state or get a fast, free quote today to see how much you could save!