There are many common mistakes drivers make while driving in snow. Several car accidents took place last Wednesday on the highways from the snow and ice. State troopers are warning Tri-City drivers to be careful driving in the snow. “About 90-percent of these crashes are simply from people driving way too fast. There’s only a couple of inches on the highway, but the conditions are not good for driving the full speed limit,” said Chris Thorson of Washington State Patrol. Car accidents happened just yards away from each other on the highway Wednesday morning. Thorson said “If you drive 70 mph and you crash your car, you’re going to be issued a citation for driving too fast for these conditions.” Snow plows are working hard to keep the roads clear. If you see a car accident, be courteous by slowing down and moving over to give them space.
Common Mistakes Drivers Make While Driving in Snow
- Believing your car can handle anything because it is in four-wheel drive. This is often a false sense of safety that can backfire. While a four-wheel drive vehicle typically can perform better in the snow, it can’t always help in every situation.
- Forgetting how to drive in the snow. If there hasn’t been snow in a while, many drivers are caught off guard. Remember the basics: slow down, leave extra space and make sure your car is prepared for winter with good tire tread, brakes and full fluids.
- Following too close to the car in front of you. Double the distance you would normally leave so you have at least six seconds to brake. Also, look ahead at what is coming so you will be prepared to slow down for stop signs, curves or stoplights.
- Slamming on the brakes. You feel your tires start to slip so what do you do? The natural reaction is to slam on your brakes. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator and let the car slow down naturally. Slamming on the brakes removes traction from your tires and causes you to lose control. If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, apply steady even pressure. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes.
- Driving too fast. As state trooper Thorson warned, driving too fast for road conditions is the number one mistake drivers make in snow. Driving too fast reduces the amount of time to react. It is always a good idea to slow down when the temperature is close to freezing so you are prepared for ice. Base your speed off the road conditions and how your car is handling.
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