Winter can be a tough time of year for vehicle owners. Many drivers are scared of sliding and hurting themselves and their car in winter weather, however, too few drivers know what to do when they are caught in a tricky situation. By reviewing a few, simple safety tips, you can put yourself in a better position for if any dangerous roads cross your path. Knowing how to navigate winter weather on the road can increase your safety and reduce your trips to the auto shop this season.
The following are several winter safety tips from your mechanic in Norwalk, OH:
- Decide whether or not you feel comfortable driving: When conditions aren’t ideal, ask yourself if it’s imperative for you to drive your car and, if you do need to go somewhere, can you get there another way? If there’s no other option, make sure that you clean off your vehicle before you start driving. This means removing all snow and ice from the car’s windshield, windows, sides and roof. Cleaning your car will increase visibility and keep you safer while you drive.
- Drive slowly and maintain a safe distance: In snowy and icy conditions, your car or truck will sometimes need more space to stop than in normal conditions. To be safe, allow three times a normal stopping distance in dangerous weather conditions. In order to give your car this distance, you need to be driving slowly. Driving fast makes it harder to stop, therefore making shorter distances between you and other cars more dangerous.
- Be careful on hills: Coming to a complete stop and accelerating to a decent speed can be extremely difficult on icy hills. It is very easy to get stuck when doing so. Use a low gear and vary your speed if you must drive on a hill. The low gear will give your tires more traction and minimize the possibility of you sliding around on the roads. In addition, it is important to never use cruise control while driving in dangerous conditions.
- Know how to recover from skidding and sliding: If your car slides, make sure to stay relaxed and take your foot off of the car’s pedals. Try to steer in the direction of the skid, or in the direction that you would like the car to go. As you feel the vehicle gripping the ground again, either press on the brakes or the accelerator. The brakes will help you in a front-wheel skid, while the accelerator will help you with a rear-wheel skid.
- Visit your mechanic for assistance: If you are unable to regain control of the vehicle, and make contact with a car or object, it is always in your best interest to contact a local mechanic once you know everyone is safe. Driving in a damaged vehicle makes you more susceptible to injury if an accident takes place in the future. Your mechanic will be able to repair your car so that it is safe to drive again.
If you are in need of an auto repair caused by winter weather, call a skilled mechanic in Norwalk, OH at Hy-Tek Truck & Auto Center, LTD.