Winter Weather Driving Tips

Tools

By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) --The chance for winter weather in the Midlands this week is just that, a chance, but the South Carolina Highway Patrol wants you to be ready.

"That's when a lot of collisions and crashes increase because people aren't used to driving in that," says Brent Kelly, South Carolina Highway Patrol.

But there are things you can do to stay safe as well.

"Slow down, the speed limits, go below the posted speed limit because you never know when you're going to come up on a patch of ice," says Kelly.

Crandall Sims reporting, "Some of the areas to be extra careful on, include bridges and overpasses. Because as the sign says behind me, "bridge ices before road."

ABC Columbia has tips to keep you safe on the roadway.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol there are key safety tips you can follow to try and prevent dangers during winter weather, some of those include:

- Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop.
- Brake gently to avoid skidding.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other drivers.
- Keep your lights and windshield clean.
- Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
- Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and roads that are not frequently traveled.
- Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions.

While driving, if your rear wheels skid there are tips to follow as well, including:

- Take your foot off the accelerator.
- Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go.
- If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
- If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes.

While driving if your front wheels skid there are tips to follow as well, including:

- Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don't try to steer immediately.
- As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission into "drive" or release the clutch and accelerate gently.

In the event you get stuck, there are also tips, including:

- Do not spin your wheels.
- Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
- Lightly touch the gas to ease your car out.
- Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
- Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels to help get traction.

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