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Driving In Snow Isn’t Something We Deal With Often in Tennessee

Let’s face it, we are blessed to live in a region that doesn’t typically see significant winter weather. The downside of that is that many of us are unprepared to deal with driving in snow or ice simply because it’s not something we are very familiar with. This morning we all looked out the window to see that our region is seeing its first snowfall and here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe while driving in snow today and throughout the winter.

Slow Down When Driving in Snow

Although it’s easy to think, I want to get home and out of this weather quickly, that isn’t the best approach with slick roadways. But, when we say slow down, that doesn’t just mean ease up on the gas pedal, it also means slow down your movements on the steering wheel. Remember that ice or snow covered roads provide less friction for your tires so quick movements, as well as sudden increase and decreases in speed can result in a loss of control.

Keep Moving When Driving in Snow

It’s best to try to avoid coming to a full stop if driving conditions allow, another reason why taking it slow is the best approach. With less friction available for your tires to grip onto the road it can be difficult to get started when driving in snow, so take it slow and try to time turns and keep from stopping if you can. One way to do this is to put your car in a lower gear, this will slow down the speed of your car without applying the brake.

Braking When Driving in Snow

No matter how slow you take it you are likely going to have to apply the brake at some point. Apply your brake slowly and smoothly, the same way you are steering in a calm and easy manner. If you feel your brake pedal shudder, that’s ok, it’s the ABS so don’t back off, let your braking system do its job. However, if you start to lose control and the car starts to spin, turn the wheel in the direction of the slide.  Now when you don’t drive in these conditions that often, this isn’t your first instinct but turn into the slide not away from it. In many newer cars with stability control, if you steer into the turn and avoid your brake you will regain control.

In the end, the best advice is to stay home if you don’t need to go out when road conditions are bad. Remember that even if weather conditions are a significant factor in a car accident, a jury may still find a driver at fault so take it slow and be safe out there.

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