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Safety Tips for Winter Driving in Cleveland

Written by on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:38pm

We all know that the best way to avoid hazardous winter driving conditions is not to drive at all. Unfortunately, our busy work and holiday schedules alike make this nearly impossible to avoid. When Cleveland’s winter hits, it is especially important to be prepared for the craziest weather conditions.

Here are some tips for driving in the snow and ice.

For icy roads, it is always important to give yourself plenty of room to stop in order to avoid rear-ending cars in front of you. It is suggested to leave at least three times the amount of stopping space you would normally allow. Most people drive cautiously during snowy days, snow is rarely the cause of dangerous accidents – Ice is.

Because of this, it is even more important to be cognizant of the temperature. According to IcyRoadSaftey.com, “Before you leave your home or office to commute, or before you embark on a trip, it is imperative to check both the current weather conditions and the upcoming forecast. Pay close attention to the temperature.” Any below freezing temperatures (32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) require caution.

Here are some tips for icy conditions:

  • Brake gently to avoid skidding
  • Always have your lights on
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills
  • Bridges, overpasses, and infrequently used roads freeze over first
  • Do not pass snow plows or salting trucks
  • If your rear wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator and turn your wheel in the direction they are moving. If your rear wheels skid right, turn right. If they skid left, turn left.
  • If your front wheels skid, do not try to turn the steering wheel. Instead, turn to neutral. Traction will return when the vehicle slows itself down.
  • If you get stuck, do not spin your wheels (even if it seems like the best solution). It really only digs your tires deeper into the snow. Turn your wheels from side to side instead, and gently begin to ease your car out by tapping lightly on the accelerator.

Even if you think you have mastered Cleveland driving conditions in the winter, it is still best to be reminded of the precautions you should take so as to prevent anything serious from happening.

Happy Holidays and safe driving!

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