Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter is the toughest driving season, especially in areas that get a lot of snow. But even in southern locations, where winters are milder, unexpected snow and ice can cause dangerous roads.

    No matter where you live or work, it’s wise to prepare for any conditions you may encounter on the road. Here are some tips for taking on tough weather:

  • ·   Make sure your vehicle is in tiptop shape by doing all PMCS.
  • ·  Check road conditions and weather reports before heading out. Even when it’s not snowing, roads can ice up where there’s moisture. Sometimes a spot looks wet, but it’s really black ice.
  • ·  Vehicles can’t stop as fast on ice or snow-covered pavement. Keep a greater distance than usual between your vehicle and others.
  • ·  Slow down when following others, especially during turns.
  • ·  When making turns, ease up on the gas pedal slowly and move the steering wheel gradually. Avoid fast, jerky movements.
  • ·  Be deliberate with any driving actions. When pressing gas or brake pedals, do so slowly but steadily.
  • ·  Approach intersections cautiously to reduce the risk of a skid.
  • ·  Keep an eye on your rear view mirror for other vehicles that could hit you from behind.
  • ·  If your vehicle starts sliding, don’t panic. Ease your foot off the gas pedal. Don’t press the brakes, but steer the vehicle into the skid. For example, if you’re driving straight ahead and the rear of your vehicle starts sliding left and the front to the right, counter by steering the vehicle to the left. If the vehicle corrects itself, straighten the wheel. Sometimes a vehicle overcorrects and slides the other way. If this happens, counter-steer again in the opposite direction.
  • ·  When visibility is reduced by fog, use low headlights and/or fog lights.
  • ·  Turn high beams off if they are not needed. They can distract and blind other drivers.
  • ·  Keep the windshield clear of snow, and check from time to time that snow has not built up on the headlights.
  • ·  Avoid crossing traffic if possible.
  • ·  Keep daytime running lights on at all times on public roadways.
  • ·  Allow extra time for your mission. Remember, there are fewer daylight hours in winter months.
  • ·  Slow down! 
  • ·  For more driving and safety tips, see FM 5-19, Composite Risk Management (Aug 06), or check out the USACRC Driver’s Training Toolbox at:




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