The blizzard conditions heading towards New YorkCity and the entire Northeast are worth a reminder that driving on ice, snow, and sleet is outright dangerous. The best advice for driving in bad weather is don’t. Driving in ice, sleet and snow is treacherous even for good drivers in vehicles with anti-lock brakes, traction control and good all-weather tires. The coming storm is especially dangerous because of “black ice” — that’s when asphalt freezes with a thin coat of ice a driver can’t see, and the car goes out of control. Please stay off the roads and streets and give priority to snowplows, salting trucks, and emergency response vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks. Abandoned cars blocking the streets were a big reason it took so long to recover from the Christmas storm.
If you absolutely must drive, remember these ice, sleet and snow driving safety tips:
- Go slow. Accelerate and brake gently. Spinning your wheels just makes things worse — worse for you and also worse for the next driver that hits the super slippery patch you left behind.
- Leave extra distance between your car and the one in front of you, because you’ll need extra distance to stop when necessary.
- If you start to skid, look at where you want to go and steer to get there. Steer gently, because quick and jerky steering can make the skid even worse.
- Make sure the windshield reservoir is full, since you’ll be using a lot to keep the windshield clear of road salt and grime.
- Don’t depend on all the high-tech safety systems in your vehicle. ABS and traction control are there to help, but they cannot take the place of good, sensible driving.
- And remember, even if you keep control of your vehicle, not everybody else will.