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A Quick Refresher: Driving and Maintaining Your Vehicle in Wintry Conditions

Michael Kelly

To be a safe driver, you must learn how to handle your vehicle in all conditions. This article explains some of the best winter driving tips to help you stay safe on snowy and icy roads.

Tips for Driving Safer in the Winter

Maintain distance. In normal driving conditions, you should maintain 3 seconds of distance from the car in front of you. In winter driving conditions you should maintain 8 to 10 seconds of distance from the car in front of you. This will help ensure that you can brake in time to avoid the car in front of you if it stops or slows down abruptly.

Drive for the conditions. Speed limits are based on perfect road conditions. In winter driving conditions, going 65 mph on the highway can be fatal. Use your judgment and reduce speed to what you think is safe. Also, don’t feel pressured by a driver behind you who is tailgating or flashing his lights. You know what’s safest for you. If necessary, pull to the side of the road to let the driver pass.

Respect snowplows. Keep a distance of at least 70 feet (four car lengths) behind a snowplow. This will help ensure that you are not in one of the plows blind spots. It can also help prevent the sand and brine spraying from the back of the plow from damaging your vehicle. Also, never pass a plow. It is frustrating when they drive under 35 mph, but parts of the road they have not yet cleared may be unsafe. Read More

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