Skidding and slipping in the snow can be a lot of fun — but not when you’re in a car. If you live in Maryland, however, you need to prepare ahead of time for sudden snowfalls when you’re behind the wheel.
Keep these safety tips in mind the next time you’re stuck on the road in the middle of a snow squall:
Turn off your electronics.
This is definitely not the time for your attention to be divided. Turn off your phone and your radio so that there’s nothing tugging your focus away from the road ahead.
Lift your gaze a little further.
When the road is covered in snow, you need to look farther ahead than you would in good weather. This will help you better prepare for stop signs, curves in the road, bridges (which can be icier than the rest of the road) and cars that may be stuck up ahead.
Slow down and watch your stability control warning lights.
That little image of a car with squiggles behind it on your dashboard is your stability control system’s warning light. If they flash, your car is having trouble staying on its intended path. Gradually lift your foot off the brake so that your tires can better grip the road and prevent a spinout.
Know how to handle a rear-wheel skid.
Just keeping your eyes on the road and your foot off the gas can usually keep your front wheels steady. If your rear wheels start to slip, however, you should:
- Turn your steering wheel into the skid (left if you’re sliding to the left, right if you’re sliding to the right).
- Remove your foot from the gas pedal entirely — but do not put your foot down on the brake because that can send you spinning faster.
Your car should recover its traction quickly and come to a stop on its own.
No matter how prepared you are for winter conditions on the road, accidents may happen. If another driver loses control of their vehicle and you’re injured in the crash, find out how to seek compensation.