10 Tips For Driving in Ice & Snow

Guest post from Sarah Robinson

Has it been snowing near you? I’ve seen where lots of Americans are getting plenty of snow, but  I can’t say that I’ve been quite so lucky. Here in my part of Kansas, we have only gotten a very fine dusting of it. Nevertheless, I know that snow and ice will be heading my way in the next couple of months at some point. It never hurts to be prepared for it, especially if you plan to drive your little ones around anywhere.

A few years back, I was driving through ice packed roads and forgot what I was driving on. I ended up fish tailing the back end of my van and slamming into the curb. You would think that slamming into a curb is no big deal, but it ended up completely bending my rim and making my tire go flat. Yeah…not good. Thankfully, it wasn’t too serious and didn’t cause any injuries! Since that time, I’ve been more aware of where the ice can send you, taking extra caution while driving on the roads.

Driving on the Ice & Snow

  1. Clear all windows and lights of snow and ice.  You may even want to remove it from the top of your car so that it doesn’t fall down onto the windshield, potentially obstructing your view.
  2. Take extra time to get where you’re wanting to go.  It ALWAYS takes longer!  Some drivers are much more scared than you (or should be anyway) and move along at a snail’s pace.  That’s a good thing though….the slower you’re going, the less likely you’ll be injured if you do happen to get into an accident.
  3. Leave plenty of room to stop.  You never know when you’re going to slide or not slide and you don’t want to risk losing control of your vehicle.
  4. If your rear wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator.
  5. Don’t use cruise control!  This is important even in the rain.  You lose control much quicker when you’ve got it set on cruise control.
  6. Use lower gears to keep good traction, especially on hills.
  7. Don’t pass snow plows and sand trucks.  The road in front of them is much worse than what you’re following them in.  Plus, they have limited visibility and may not even see you.  They’ll plow right through you if you’re not careful.
  8. Watch for ice on bridges.  You’ve seen the sign, right?  Well…it’s there for a reason.  The bridges freeze first, because they can get air all around it.  Be very, very careful on bridges…even if the other roads seem OK.
  9. If you get stuck, don’t spin your tires.  It will just dig you in deeper!
  10. If you get stuck, move the wheel from side to side so that it moves the snow out of the way.  Shift from forward to reverse, slowly rocking the car until it is able to inch it’s way out of the pile of snow.
I hope you’re having a wonderful winter and NOT getting stuck in the snow!  Be careful out there!

What tips would you add to this list?

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  1. says

    I live in Kansas where it snows several times each winter. Honestly, it seems like people completely forget how to drive in snow between storms. It’s awful! Your tips ought to be posted on the steering wheel of every car in every state where it’s ever snowed.

  2. says

    I live in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. We get surprise snow storms along with an array of other dramatic weather. We drive along waterways and up and down hills. Even in my AWD I often don’t go out in the worst weather.
    Your tips here are valuable and you’d think were common sense, but sometimes it takes those “slip ups” to educate us!! My tips are drive with all your lights on, slow down, and just avoid going out if you can.

  3. says

    Another tip is if you live someplace where it snows a lot and the potential for getting stuck is great add a BIG bag of kitty litter to your trunk. Not only will it weigh down the back of your car making it less likely to skid, but you can pour it under your tires if you do get stuck enabling you to get out without a tow.

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