Snowy weather can be a time for fun,especially for avid skiers or children whorelish spending days off from school toss-ing snowballs and building snow forts.many adults, however, do not look forwardto the snow as much as youngsters do.snow can be hazardous when driving, butputting snow tires on a vehicle can improvevehicle safety.According to information from the Na-tional Highway Traffic SafetyAdministra-tion, roughly 115 people die every day invehicle crashes in the United States. Eachwinter, snowfall compounds treacherousroad conditions, increasing the risk of acci-dents.It is important to know how to drivewhen weather conditions are dangerous. Itis also wise to outfit a vehicle to reduce itsrisk of slipping and sliding on icy, snowyroads. Here are some tips to follow.•
Limit time spent driving in the snow.
Avoid driving during snowstorms or di-rectly after whenever possible. Snow notonly makes roads slick, but fallingflakes can impair a driver’s visibility andreduce his or her response time. Try towait until snow-clearing teams havesalted, plowed and sanded roads beforeventuring out.•
Be sure you can see clearly.
Clear off the snow from the windshield, side mir-rors and windows so it does not compro-mise your view.Also, top off the wind-shield fluid so you will be able to clearsnow and salt kick-up from your wind-shield. Look for a washer fluid that hasan antifreeze component, otherwise,your washer jets and wiper blades couldbe rendered useless.•
Reduce your speed whendriving in inclement weather. It can bemore difficult to stop or maneuveraround a potential obstacle when condi-tions are less than ideal. Traveling at ahigh speed will increase the risk of acci-dents.•
Leave enough room between you andother motorists.
Tailgating is responsi-ble for many accidents, even when thereis no snow on the ground. In inclementweather, it can take longer to slow orstop the car after pressing on the brakes.Having an additional space betweenyour car and the one in front of youhelps you avoid a collision.•
Be aware of black ice.
Black ice gets itsname from its veritable invisibility. It isso thin and hard to spot, it just looks likethe black asphalt of the road. Black icetends to form in areas that have hadsnow or ice melt, which then refreezesat night when temperatures drop. Beextra cautious on turns and on highwayexit and entrance ramps, where black icefrequently forms.• S
teer your car into the skid.
Remaincalm and do not panic and jam on thebrakes if your car starts to skid. Slam-ming on the brakes will only exacerbatethe skid. Rather, take your foot off theaccelerator, allowing the car to naturallyslow down as you turn your wheels intothe direction the car is skidding. Thisshould help right the car and get youback on track.•
Invest in snow tires.
Those who live inespecially snowy climates and do a lotof driving would be wise to purchasesnow tires. Snow tires, also called wintertires, have special tread patterns thatoffer better traction in snow and ice.They also are made from softer rubbercompounds than regular tires that retaintheir flexibility in cold weather, allowingthe tire to conform to the surface of theroad.Although many vehicles comewith technology to prevent accidents,they cannot do their jobs if tires are notmaintaining their grip on the road.All-season tires are not a replacementfor snow tires.All-season tires are designedto work in all sorts of conditions, fromrainy weather to dry roads. Therefore, it isbetter to invest in a set of snow tires thatwill offer you better protection. When put-ting snow tires on a car or truck, be sure todo so on all the wheels — not just the driv-ing wheels. Otherwise you may still risk spin outs or uneven gripping of the road.It is not a good idea to keep snow tireson all year. Because they are softer, snowtires tend to be more noisy and can wearout faster in warmer weather. Therefore,switch out the tires at the beginning of thesnowy season and then before the spring ar-rives anew.
How to stay safe on winter roads
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Driving in the winter time, especially during or after snowfall, can be dangerous.