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Tactical Driving Tips
The winter and driving shopping season is right around the corner. We need to remember that in the winter, with snow and freezing conditions, our driving tactics need to change. Accidents will occur on the snow and ice that wouldn't on dry pavement. This article will cover the important things to remember and how to drive safely.
The most important thing that everyone needs to remember is that you cannot stop as fast on icy or snow covered pavement. You need to drive slower which will give you more time to slow down. When you need to come to a stop anywhere give yourself more time by starting to slow down earlier than usual. When driving behind other vehicles make sure that you leave a bigger distance between you and the vehicle in front. This way you will have more time to slow down and also react to unexpected stops.
Slow down everywhere and anything that you do. Take turns slower, drive on straight roads slower and slow down alittle even on slight curves in the road. Anytime you have to turn that steering wheel ease of the gas appropiately. You need to be deliberate in all your actions. Anytime that you need to push on the pedals, gas or brake, do it easily and steady. When making a turn ease that steering wheel slowly and don't make fast jerky movements.
Always be aware of your road conditions. Even when it is not snowing the road will ice up in places where there is moisture. This will happen more during the overnight hours when it is colder and there is no sunlight. Sometimes a spot will look just wet but is is actually ice, "black ice" as we know it. Be aware of bridges and overpasses. These road surfaces are always colder and therefore freezes up first. If you do find yourself on ice just coast, don't brake or turn the wheel, until you pass over it.
Drive defensively. Always be on the lookout for other motorists that are making all of the mistakes. Approach intersections cautiously looking for other skidding vehicles. Keep an eye in your rear view mirror for vehicles hitting you from behind. Keep enough distance away from everyone so you don't become part of their accident.
Even after taking all your precautions you will eventually find yourself involved in a sliding situation. When you do, DON'T PANIC! Take your foot of the gas and don't hit the brakes. You then want to steer your car into the skid. People always hear that but don't know what to do anyway. If you are driving straight and the rear of your vehicle is sliding to the left and the front of the vehicle to the right, then you need to countersteer your car to the left. If the car corrects itself then straighten the wheel back out. Sometimes the car will over correct itself and now it is sliding the other way. If this happens just countersteer again in the opposite direction.
Follow these tips and hopefully you won't become the next accident statistic. People with suv's are not immune to these rules. Remember not to drink and drive, stay off of your cell phone and always wear your seatbelt.
This article was posted on November 22, 2005