The winter months are upon us and it is important to prepare ourselves for harsh driving conditions that will occur with the change in season. The winter elements not only require drivers to make adjustments in their driving habits but changes in their preparation for these trips. How we dress is very important during these next couple of months. Having warm clothing as well as extra supplies is important in the event of a breakdown. Supplies can consist of extra clothing, blankets, shovel, and extra food in case you are stranded somewhere. It is also very important to allow yourself extra time to complete a trip during the winter months, due to the harsh weather conditions that may arise throughout your trip.
When out on the road during bad weather conditions it is important to allow yourself more stopping distance since traction is reduced due to snow or ice on the roads. Temperature plays a huge role in the reduction of traction on the road. The stopping distance at 30mph on a dry surface is around 148 feet, which is the length of half a football field. The stopping distance at 30 mph on snow and ice can increase to up to 533 feet, which is almost the length of two football fields. It is important to increase your following distance from the vehicle ahead of you during severe weather conditions because the more room you give yourself the greater the chance you have of avoiding an accident on the road.
There are several ways to increase your traction during severe driving conditions. First, you want to make sure your tires have sufficient tread depth and air pressure. Steering, accelerating, and braking smoothly is also key to increasing traction. Slowing down before turning and braking can prevent traction loss. Starting up slow is also important because it can prevent your tires from spinning and skidding, which can lead to losing control and jackknifing. Always remember to prepare for the winter and take your time.