Commuting during a Maryland winter comes with challenges. Navigating slippery roads can be difficult, whether it is the first snow of the season or an unexpected storm during the holidays.
While practice can help you develop your winter driving skills, some practical lessons are essential to pick up along the way.
Here are a few important tips to remember as you drive in winter weather.
Know your skills
Often, the unsung heroes in the winter are the ones who know their shortcomings and decide to stay home. The holidays can be a time when you may feel pressure to show up at an event, but when the weather creates hazardous driving conditions, it may be best to stay home.
There are times when you can practice your winter driving skills, but it is not when the weather is at its worst. If you want to increase your confidence driving your vehicle in the winter, you should consider looking for circumstances that include the following:
- A safe empty area
- A knowledgeable teacher or helper
- Significant time, so you do not feel pressure
- A vehicle that is equipped for the weather
It takes most drivers several attempts to learn how their vehicle handles the snow and build the confidence they need to drive in harsh weather. When you know your limits, you can take the time you need to develop your winter driving skills under safe conditions.
Understanding the spin
Driving on icy roads can mean losing traction during a turn. When the front tires lock up, your car may spin out of control, making you panic. Knowing how to handle your vehicle if you start to feel it begin to spin is essential.
When your car is about to spin, you want to avoid extreme corrections to regain control. Often, the temptation is to slam on your brakes or to try to overcorrect the spin. Instead, you should ease off the accelerator and start applying firm and consistent pressure on the brakes. Also, you should gradually turn out of the spin to avoid spinning out the other direction.
As you build confidence in the snow and ice, it will be easier to brave winter conditions when driving.