Today Winter Storm Inga brought snow to us here in North Carolina. Snow and sleet covered the ground in all 50 states today, partially clinched by Inga's sweep through the South and East. Driving proved treacherous for some. If you must drive in ice or snow be prepared with the below tips.
"Prevent a skid before it happens"
Preventing a skid is far, far more important than any attempt to recover from one, says Wren. "Needing to attempt a 'cure' is the result of bad driving, and such attempts are by no means a guarantee that nobody will be hurt or killed — you or somebody else." Wren says the top causes of skidding are:
Driving too fast for the conditions
Braking too hard for the conditions
Accelerating too hard for the conditions
Steering too harshly for the conditions
Taking a curve or a turn too fast for the conditions
Falsely believing that SUVs and pickup trucks somehow have better grip which allows them to be driven faster in snow and ice conditions
In short, the best way to avoid a skid is to drive at sensible speeds, be prepared to slow down significantly if you are concerned about the
conditions, and use the vehicle controls (brakes, gas pedal, steering and clutch) gently and in a timely manner.
How to recover from a skid:
If you do find your vehicle in a skid, Wren tells drivers to remember the following:
Keep both hands on the wheel. If anyone — including a state driver's manual — ever tells you that if you skid you should select neutral, that advice is potentially very dangerous. Keep both hands on the wheel!If you can, remove the cause of the skid. (For example, if you skid because you accelerated too hard, come off the gas pedal.)Look where you want your car to go and keep looking there, even if your car starts to spin. Eye-hand coordination is incredibly important and incredibly powerful.For a rear-wheel or all-wheel skid in which your car starts to spin out of line, "Steer into the skid," which means steer to the same side the back end of the car is sliding towards. During a front-wheel skid, straighten the steering wheel.If you (almost certainly) do have ABS fitted to your vehicle, it is perfectly correct to follow the advice "Stomp and steer!" Remember that ABS is not there to help you stop sooner, it is a device that allows you to keep on steering while braking, and for that reason it is tremendously useful. "If you feel the brake pedal pulsing or fluttering under your foot, or you hear a sort of 'tattattattatta' noise while you are braking, that is just the ABS doing its job. Do not release the brake pedal unless there is some other unrelated and crucial reason to do so, which is immensely unlikely."