Staying Safe on Icy and Snowy Roads


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Preparing a vehicle for winter is important. Whether changing windshield wipers blades or putting on snow tires, it is a good idea to check your vehicle for added safety before winter arrives.

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Staying Safe on Icy and Snowy Roads

  1. 1. Staying Safe on Icy and Snowy Roads<br /> <br />December 22, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Winterize Your Vehicle <br />Preparing a vehicle for winter is important. <br />As Michigan's Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land says, "We want all Michigan motorists to have a safe journey so we encourage people to make sure their car is ready for winter driving." <br />Whether changing windshield wipers blades or putting on snow tires, it is a good idea to check your vehicle for added safety before winter arrives.  <br />Winterizing your vehicle can make it more reliable when driving in freezing conditions. <br />
  3. 3. Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter<br />Maintain good tire tread, replace worn tires and keep tires inflated correctly<br />Check wipers for wear and make sure the reservoir is filled with a non-freezing washer solvent<br />Have your battery and terminal checked with a load test<br />Check antifreeze strength and levels<br />Check engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluids<br />Test signal and light functions to ensure they are active<br />Ensure that the heater and defroster are in good working condition<br />
  4. 4. A Few More Tips <br />Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected<br />Carry an emergency kit<br />Winter driving conditions can be difficult for even the most experienced drivers. Even owners of cars, trucks and SUVs that make their vehicle “winter proof” can still run into an icy road and start to slip and slide. That goes for vehicles with four-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes as well. Exercising caution on icy and snowy roads is the best way to keep safe and prevent accidents.<br />
  5. 5. Winter Driving Tips<br />Accelerate and decelerate slowly – The rule of thumb for winter driving is to adjust speed respective to road conditions, especially on wet roads. Driving the appropriate speed for conditions is the best way to avoid hydroplaning and to maintain your traction on icy and snow covered roads.<br />Allow longer braking distance – Even on dry roads you want to increase your margin of safety when braking. As the Michigan State Police recommend, "allow no less than 2 seconds between vehicles during the daytime, 3 seconds at night, and 4 seconds during inclement weather such as during rain, snow, or icy conditions." This will prevent you from sliding out of control because you’ll always be able to apply pressure to your brakes gently. <br />
  6. 6. A Safer Drive <br />Be mindful of your surroundings – Bridges, overpasses and less-traveled roads have a tendency to freeze during winter even when temperatures are above freezing. Always show extra caution in the winter <br />It is important to know what to do if you encounter a wintertime hazard while driving, such as sliding on a patch of black ice on the road. Here are some tips to follow if your vehicle does go into a skid:<br />
  7. 7. What To Do If Your Rear Wheels Skid <br />In this scenario the first thing to do is remain calm and remove your foot off the gas pedal. It is important to then turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the car to go. This means if your rear wheels are skidding to the right then you have to steer right, if the rear wheels are going left then steer left. <br />If you over-compensate or the car starts sliding in the opposite direction, you want to gently turn the steering wheel in that direction. With anti-lock brakes (ABS), the rule is to push down on them steadily. The pressure could cause the brakes to pulsate, but that is normal. <br />
  8. 8. What To Do If Your Front Wheels Skid<br />If you hit a patch of ice and the front wheels start to slide you want to remain calm and take your foot off the gas pedal as mentioned above. In this scenario, what you want to do next is shift the car to neutral, without turning the wheel. This should slow the car down and eventually the car will regain traction. <br />
  9. 9. If Your Front Wheels Skid cont.<br />Once you’ve shifted to neutral you’ll want turn in the direction the car is sliding. Then, put the car back in drive while just lightly tapping on the accelerator. <br />All of these tips are suggested to help drivers prepare for and avoid inconvenient or even dangerous situations. Being prepared for the season's unpredictable weather and driving safely can improve the likelihood of safe travels for you and all your passengers. See your local ASE certified technician for assistance performing any of the tests as described. <br />
  10. 10. People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. Because at Belle Tire we challenge ourselves every day to make sure that you always get the lowest tire price, period. Prove it to yourself. Take the Belle Tire Price Challenge. <br />Challenge us online, over the phone or even challenge us right in the store. Come in to any Belle Tire, and we’ll check other stores’ prices with you, right at the counter, and prove to you that Belle Tire has the lowest tire prices, PERIOD! Plus, at Belle Tire, you’ll always get out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation than the competition can offer, at any price! <br />For the Lowest Tire Price, Period and great low prices on Custom Wheels, Alignments, Brakes, Batteries, Oil and Lube, Shocks & Struts, Windshield Repair and Replacement, and more. Visit and also join our online communities: <br />YOUTUBE * BLOG * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * ABOUT BELLE TIRE<br />