What You Need To Know: When You’re Driving in Snow and Ice

The What To Do When series covers typical driving and vehicle situations that many drivers face on a regular basis. If you’ve ever had a moment with your vehicle when you know something is wrong and you’re not sure what to do, this series is for you!

what to do when series

Forecasters are calling for a major storm this weekend and Long Island drivers are encouraged to stay home. If you must drive, here are TLC’s tips for staying safe in driving in snow and ice.

Before you leave, ensure your gas tank half full to avoid gas line freeze up and ensure your tires are properly inflated.

If you are driving in snow, accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly will help you regain traction and avoid skids. Increase driving distance to eight to ten seconds because you’ll need longer braking time.

Be careful driving on hills and do not try to power up them. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just get your wheel spinning. Try to get inertia before you reach the hill to see if it will carry you to the top. As you reach the top of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down the hill as slowly as possible.

Take everything slowly and anticipate lane changes, turns and curves. Abrupt movements break traction and could start a skid. If you begin to slide or fishtail, take your foot off the brake and turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of the car is sliding.

Know your brakes. Locked wheels can make your vehicle slide. Many newer vehicles have antilock brake systems so push the brake pedal firmly and hold it down. Do not pump the pedal or remove your foot. If you do not have antilock brakes, apply firm steady pressure.

Most importantly if you are driving in snow or ice, stay focused alert and aware of the other cars around you.