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5 Winter Driving Tips You Are Going To Need This Year

We all need some winter driving tips, right? Once the first snow falls and the streets turn icy, we tend to forget how to stay safe in our vehicles. Well, you don't have to stay home when the weather turns nasty, you simply have to be more careful. We don't get the worst winter weather in Maryland, but there is just enough snow to make it look pretty.

Consider these winter driving tips to help you get from place A to B and anywhere else your heart (and gas budget) can take you.

5 Winter Driving Tips

1. Maintain your momentum.

If it is necessary to travel up a hill in snowy conditions, leave enough room in front of your car. It is so critical to keep you safe. Do everything you can to maintain your momentum while traveling uphill. Stopping in the middle of a hill can result in the driver becoming stuck.

2. Change lanes cautiously.

If you change lanes, you may want to look for patches of snow-covered pavement and head toward them. Surprisingly, these areas often provide better traction for maneuvers. Once you signal for your turn and begin to change lanes if the vehicle slips, it’s important to remember not to over-correct or panic. In many cars, the StabiliTrak system assists the driver in this position.

3. Don't pump the brakes if you skid.

One of the essential winter driving tips is to avoid pumping the brakes when sliding or skidding. Stay calm. Look where you want the car to go and steer smoothly in that direction. For modern vehicles with antilock brakes, you still shouldn't pump the brakes. Instead, maintain pressure on the pedal and let the ABS system modulate the braking.

4. Be patient if the vehicle is stuck.

Depending on your vehicle’s ground clearance and the snow conditions, you can sometimes gently rock the vehicle free. It may take a few attempts. Start by turning the steering wheel left and right to clear the area around the front wheels. You can also use a snow shovel if you have one handy. Turn off any traction system. Gently shift back and forth between reverse and a low forward gear, spinning the wheels as little as possible. This creates a rocking motion that may help free the vehicle. However, if after a few attempts you are unsuccessful, it’s essential to know when to call for help.

5. What to do when you need help.

If you are in danger, call 9-1-1. It should always be your first thought. Many vehicles give you the option to call OnStar for assistance in non-emergency situations. If you need to stay in the car while it is stuck, check out the winter driving section of your owner’s manual. It should have detailed instructions for intermittently running the vehicle to keep the interior warm. Be sure to clear snow from the base of the vehicle, especially any snow blocking the exhaust pipe. Open a window about two inches on the vehicle side away from the wind to bring in the fresh air. One of the critical winter driving tips should always be to know when to ask for help.

With these winter driving tips you can get out there and have some fun this season!


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