The winter storm with gale force winds and blowing snow headed for NYC and the Tri-State area this weekend is a good time for a refresher course in driving safety tips for snow, sleet and ice, especially black ice.
Simply, it is dangerous even for good drivers in vehicles with anti-lock brakes, traction control and all-season tires, and for the pedestrians and other vehicles you might slip and slide into.
Please stay off roads and streets to give priority to snowplows, salting trucks, and emergency response vehicles including ambulances and fire trucks.
Abandoned cars blocking the streets and highways means it will take longer for them to get plowed, and could cause people to die because emergency vehicles can’t get through.
Slipping and sliding:
The best advice for driving in bad weather is easy – don’t drive.
If you absolutely must drive, go slower than usual and steer, accelerate and brake more gently than usual to avoid skids.
Especially dangerous is 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.
Ice, sleet and snow driving safety tips:
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 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.
Do not 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 smart and sensible driving.
Black ice is one of the most dangerous situations in winter driving.
Here’s how to recognize black ice:
And remember, even if you keep control of your vehicle, not everybody else will.
Here are more tips from a source I trust, Edmunds.com.
Read my article on how to winterize your car on Living on the Cheap.
Find more car and travel articles by NYCOTC Founder/Editor Evelyn Kanter on ecoXplorer
This article was first published in 2015 and updated re-published when weather conditions require.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Evelyn Kanter also is a longtime automotive journalist specializing in safety and value, including writing Green Wheeling, a nationally syndicated column. And I test drive cars, which occasionally requires wearing a race suit.