Winter driving tips to keep in mind

(Dakota News Now)
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 11:56 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -- We all like to pride ourselves on knowing how to drive in the snow, but with the first significant snowfall of the season on the way and as we head deeper into the winter months, it’s time for a quick refresher on those winter driving tips.

The first thing to do is making sure your vehicle is winterized. What that means is looking into switching your tires over from summer to the winter. This is recommended as the winter tires have a deeper tread and provides a better grip if you are driving on snowy or icy roads.

Be sure to avoid using cruise control and always drive the speed at which the weather conditions will allow and what you are comfortable with.

If you are behind a snowplow, be sure to give yourself plenty of space between you and them, as they are out making sure the roads are salted or sanded, plus they may stop or turn on a short notice.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you begin to slide or skid, be sure to not to panic! Just take your foot slowly off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction that you are sliding until you begin to regain traction. Along with that, avoid braking quickly.

Whether you are driving on the highway, a city or town or rural areas, be sure to give yourself plenty of distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. The reason is because the stopping distances increases significantly when the roads are snowy and increases even more when roads are icy.

Finally, be sure to use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses and watch out for black ice. Even though most roadways lose heat evenly, bridges and overpasses freeze quicker because there’s no insulation to keep the heat in underneath. It’s recommended that if you approach a bridge or overpass to take your foot off the gas and coast across.

As always, be sure you have a plan in place, an emergency kit in your vehicle, paying extra attention on the roads and staying up-to-date on the latest forecast.

A list of what you should keep in your car emergency kit can be found here:

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