29 Nov 5 Things to Know About Driving in the Snow

We’ll admit it, even after living in New England for years and years, driving in snowy conditions can be pretty scary. Even the most experienced drivers face the occasional skid and fishtail, which is undeniable nerve-wracking! And while no amount of preparation and experience will take away that little stomach-drop we all feel when we start sliding, knowing what to do and how to stay calm can make all the difference between an ugly crash and a smooth avoidance.

Before winter-y weather totally engulfs us, we thought it would be best to get you prepared and feeling confident, no matter the conditions.

If you’re out driving and you’re faced with snowy or icy roads, here’s a few things you can do to minimize your risk:

  1. Drive slowly: any maneuver you want to make in the snow will need to be made at a much slower pace than it would be on a dry road. Because stopping, slowing down, and turning will need to be done slowly, you won’t be able to make last minute decisions. You’re better off keeping your pace slow to begin with.
  2. Don’t gas it: accelerate slowly. When you floor it, you lose traction and increase your chances of skidding out of control.
  3. Give yourself room: on a normal day, it’s suggested that you stay far enough behind the car in front of you that you can count to 3 between them passing a given object and you passing that same object. In the snow, increase this following time to 8-10 seconds. If they have to stop short, you’ll want plenty of time to slow down and come to a safe stop behind them.
  4. Pump the brakes: if you do have to brake more vigorously while driving on ice or snow, don’t just slam down and hold it— this can cause you to skid. Instead, pump your brakes by pressing down and letting up in a methodical motion. However, if you have ABS brakes, refrain from pumping. The ABS will do all the work for you if you simply press and firmly hold.
  5. Take on hills smartly: hills can be quite daunting, especially in the snow. While you may be tempted to gas it up the hill and get it over with, refrain! Accelerating on hills can cause your wheels to spin and you to go nowhere. Instead, build up a bit of inertia before the hill and try to make it up with minimal gassing. Additionally, try not to stop on the hill if possible. Once you’ve stopped on an icy incline, it can be difficult to get going again.

We hope this tips have been helpful to prepare you for the New England winter fun we’ll be sure to experience soon! But before we do, be sure to give us a call at 508-528-5200 to review your Massachusetts auto insurance. We’ll make sure your coverages are prefect for the winter weather!

 

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