The roads in Michigan are sometimes difficult to navigate, even when the weather is nice. If you add in snow or sleet, you might find that you are facing some very serious challenges. Still, all drivers on the road must ensure they are driving safely so that everyone can make it home at the end of the day.
Before you head out this winter, be sure that you brush up on safe driving practices on slick roads. Here are a few to get you started:
Choose where to drive
When you leave home, you might not really pay much attention to where you are driving as long as you are in your lane. If the roads are snowy or icy, you should try to stay in the same path as the vehicles that traversed the roadway prior to you. Typically, you will have better traction in the tracks of other cars. This can help you to avoid slipping and sliding through the snow or slush.
Know what areas to avoid
Bridges will freeze before surface streets freeze. If you do have to drive over a bridge, do so slowly. Pay close attention to your speed going up the bridge because there is a chance that if you slow down too much, you might start to slide backwards, especially if the road is icy. Once you hit the top of the bridge, you need to make sure you are moving very slowly. There is a good chance that you will start to speed up as you are moving down the bridge. On bridges that are level, you should just pay attention to your speed from start to finish.
Watch other drivers
Give other drivers space to drive. Almost everything will take longer in the snow. This includes accelerating, stopping and turning. Even if you are in a rush, trying to rush other drivers or misjudging how long an action will take them might end up being a fatal mistake. Remember, your safety is more important than rushing to anywhere. You can control yourself, but other drivers might not be doing the same. You don’t need to be involved in a crash that can negatively impact your life.
Keep control of your vehicle
You also need to make sure that you are keeping control of your vehicle. This might not be easy when the roads are slick. Use your anti-lock brakes to stop or slow down; however, avoid braking if you are skidding. Remember to steer into the skid and remain calm until you are able to regain control of your vehicle. If you notice another vehicle skidding, give that car room since you know the driver doesn’t have any control.