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How to drive safely in Snow and Ice

image (9)As most driving experts will admit, the best choice in snowy and icy weather is to not drive at all and of course get a taxi where our drivers are used to driving in all conditions.  However work and other responsibilities may require you to drive on snow and ice. Or you may get stuck in a snow storm later quite far from home.

These are some winter driving tips and techniques for driving in snow and ice.

Keep your vehicle in 1st or 2nd gear on snow or ice.

A lower gear not only keeps your car moving slower, it gives the tires more power and more traction.

Put your vehicle in a lower gear when turning.

Because of the weight shift on a turn it is much easier to lose control (even in dry weather) in the middle of a turn. It is very easy to skid even in 2nd gear on icy roads when turning, 1st gear is safest.

Use the accelerator and brake pedal as gently as possible at all times on snow and ice.

Any pressure on either pedal causes the weight of the vehicle to shift. (brake pressure sends weight to the front, accelerator sends it to the rear). This can cause a dangerous loss of balance and control on ice. Therefore use very little pressure on either. This also means brake very early.

Push the gear in neutral to stop at red lights and stop signs

This is contrary to the teaching of safe driving practices but icy conditions require different driving than in dry or wet but non-freezing conditions. Snow and ice are the only time I would suggest using neutral to help brake, and once you are stopped, immediately put the gear in 1st or 2nd again. Neutral disengages the engine from the wheels so the engine isn’t moving the car forward. This brings a car to a stop much quicker on ice.

If you start to skid push the gear in neutral

If the car is in neutral it will immediately stop!

Stay on the roads most traveled

This is pretty much common sense. There are several reasons using busier roads in snow is a good winter driving tip. More traveled roads will be partially cleared by other traffic. There is a higher chance the city has brought snow plows and deicers on busier streets. If you do get stuck on the ice there is a better chance of finding help on a road with more traffic.

Don’t drive on Snow and ice unless you absolutely need to

Even straight, flat,  frozen, wet roads can be unpredictable.  The drivers on them are unpredictable as well. The best of drivers can easily lose control on ice with one slight error with the steering or the pedals.

Wait until the roads unthaw before driving on them if you can. It will be safer and a lot less stressful behind the wheel if you do.   Hart Taxis drivers are experienced in driving in all conditions so when in doubt give us a call!


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