As professional movers we do a LOT of driving. One thing we see every winter is people who have accidents that could have been easily avoided. Our drivers take a winter driving class and we wanted to share a few of the highlights with you.
- Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Even if the road looks clear it can be icy. The majority of cars that spin or end up on the side of the road are because they hit a bad spot on an otherwise clear road.
- Slow down! Yes, we said that twice because going to fast is the biggest cause of winter accidents. You will get to your destination faster if you go slow then if you speed up and have an accident.
- 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is not a means to go faster. In the winter the number of accidents with 4 wheel/all wheel drive vehicles increase because those drivers are foolish enough to believe they can drive faster than everyone else.
- You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. For the average vehicle this is 6-7 car lengths
- Brake as slowly as possible. This will help you keep from skidding.
- Never try to brake and turn your wheel at the same time. There is a lot of physics behind this but basically your tires cannot stop your car and control your direction at the same time. If they try, neither happens and you wreck.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Use low gears on hills to keep from spinning your tires. This also makes your transmission act as a brake while allowing your tires to steer
- Don't use cruise control. Cruise senses your tires spin so if you hit a bad spot it can confuse the cruise control and cause you to wreck.
- SLOW DOWN FOR BRIDGES! Bridges are like airplane wings. They have wind whipping over them and underneath them. This can make the surface of a bridge 20-30 degrees colder than a normal roadway and salt doesn't work at those temperatures
- Never pass snow plows.. They have a hard time seeing because there is a huge plow on the front and a big dumper on the back. Those men/women are professionals and they are helping to keep everyone safe so be respectful.
- Always be alert. Sure, everyone knows this trick from driving school. But it becomes even more a necessity when you're in the winter weather drive. Always remain expertly aware of your surroundings. Put that phone down! You can catch Pokemon when you're parked and walking home.
Hopefully these winter weather driving tips help keep everyone in Houston safe!