Car in a ditch because of ice, in Springfield Missouri, and being towed by RPM Towing experts.

Tips for Driving in Snow & Ice

When it comes to winter weather, the best advice is simple: if you can avoid driving, stay off the roads. Wait until the snowplows and sanding trucks have finished their work. However, if you must venture out in snowy conditions, take precautions and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Ensure your car is ready for winter driving with a thorough checkup.

Prioritize Car Maintenance

Check the battery, tires, antifreeze levels, and ignition system. Pay attention to the brakes, wiring, hoses, and fan belts. Don't forget to inspect the air, fuel, and emission filters, as well as the PCV valve. Consider changing and adjusting the spark plugs, and inspecting the distributor. A tune-up will optimize your car's performance, providing improved gas mileage, faster starts, and more responsiveness when passing.

Drive Safely on Icy Roads

Reduce your speed and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Allow three times more space than usual. Brake gently to avoid skidding, releasing pressure if the wheels lock up. Enhance visibility by turning on your lights and keeping them clean. Use low gears, especially on hills, to maintain traction. Avoid using cruise control or overdrive on icy roads. Exercise caution on bridges, overpasses, and less traveled roads, as they freeze first. Bear in mind that even with four-wheel drive, winter conditions can pose challenges.

Handling Skids

If your rear wheels skid, remove your foot from the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. Gradually regain control by adjusting the steering wheel if the rear wheels slide in the opposite direction. Pump the brakes gently if you have standard brakes, but if you have anti-lock brakes, maintain steady pressure. Don't panic and follow these steps to regain stability.

Dealing with Getting Stuck

Avoid spinning your wheels, as it will worsen the situation. Instead, turn your wheels from side to side to clear snow. Apply a light touch on the gas to ease your car out. Use a shovel to remove snow from under the car and around the wheels. Create traction by spreading sand, kitty litter, gravel, or salt in the path of the wheels. Consider rocking the vehicle by shifting between forward and reverse gears, but consult your owner's manual beforehand. With patience and these techniques, you can free your vehicle from being stuck.

Remember, safety is crucial on winter roads. These tips have been sourced from reputable organizations like the National Safety Council, New York State Motor Vehicles, and Washington State Government Information and Services. Stay prepared and drive with care in challenging winter conditions.