Message from the Chief: Tips for Winter Driving

By Chief Jim Mongernew-interim-chief-jim-monger

Regardless of your experience in driving in wintery conditions, there are some situations that you just can’t control and accidents can happen. As we head into winter, here are some tips from AAA for winter driving that can help to keep you, your passengers and others on the road safe.

Check your tires. To have adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread.

Replace windshield wiper blades. Clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Apply a water-shedding material (such as Rain-X) to the outside of all windows, including the mirrors. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid.

Use your headlights so that others will see you and we hope, not pull out in front of you.

If the road looks slick, it probably is. This is especially true with one of winter’s worst hazards, “black ice.” Also called “glare ice,” this is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Test the traction with a smooth brake application or slight turn of the wheel.

Learn how to get maximum efficiency from your brakes before an emergency. If you drive on icy roads or roads that are covered with snow, modify your ABS technique. For vehicles without ABS, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement.

Finally, if you don’t feel safe driving, stay home.