Driving instructor offers advice to keep you safe during winter weather

Published 03/02 2010 10:55AM

Updated 03/02 2010 10:59AM

Winter Weather
Winter Weather
Whether you're talking about ice or snow, we all know the winter weather means dangerous, potentially deadly roads.

Driving instructor Ron Routh says people crash into other cars every winter for the same reasons. They go too fast and don't leave enough space between their car and others. Routh says you need as much as 10 times more stopping distance on a slick road than a dry one.

When it's just you, your biggest opponent is the road itself. The first challenge drivers face on a treacherous road: what do you do when a slick spot appears out of nowhere? Don't panic or slam on the brakes. Routh said, "Take your foot off the gas pedal. Your car will slow down on its own. If you need to tap the brake you can do that."

So what if you didn't find the slick spot soon enough and you find yourself going into a skid? That's challenge number two. Routh says don't jerk the wheel, don't slam on the brakes. Turn your wheel the direction the front of the car is sliding until you can get more control, then gradually ease back on course.

The third big challenge driving in winter weather, how do you make it down a hill safely? Routh says take it slow and pump the brake all the way down. "Just let the wheels roll a little bit at a time, and you've maintained control of the vehicle," he said.

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