3 Mistakes to Avoid While Driving in Snowy Conditions

By: Michelle Prall, Client Advisor

It's winter in New England, and another snow storm has come. If you find yourself stuck somewhere and you are forced to drive in snowy conditions, please avoid these three common mistakes:

1.  Following too closely

Many people make this mistake. This will lessen your reaction time if there is a problem with the vehicle(s) in front of you.

In general:

  • A driver in a car should drive at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front in ideal conditions.
  • A vehicle towing a trailer or caravan should allow two seconds, plus one second for each 3 feet of trailer.

Remember to also:

  • double your following distance in poor conditions.
  • increase your following distance if you are driving a heavy vehicle.

2.  Slamming on the brakes

When you feel your car starting to go out of control, you naturally want to slam on the brakes. Avoid this! This will remove the traction from your tires and it will actually take away your ability to control your vehicle. Steer your vehicle in the same direction you feel it slipping and then gradually apply the brakes.

3.  Driving too fast

This is the biggest mistake people make while driving in snowy conditions. It takes much longer to brake on an icy/ snowy road than it does on a dry road. Driving too fast will reduce the time you have to react and it will increase the severity of any collision.

Be smart, alert and safe out there!