Of all the bad weather Iowa can throw at drivers, two of the most dangerous road conditions you may encounter are snow and ice. Whether you’re a new driver or an experienced one, poor weather conditions can test both your nerves and your skills on the road. Studies show that nearly one-quarter of weather-related vehicle crashes occur in snowy, slushy, or icy conditions. We know the days of white-knuckle drives are inevitable, so at LOF-Xpress™ it is our goal to ensure that you are informed, and your vehicle is ready for all adverse road conditions. Follow these tips and techniques to increase your odds of arriving at your destination (and back home!) safely. View our services and schedule an appointment to get your car ready for the winter!
Only Drive When Necessary
First and foremost, ONLY DRIVE WHEN NECESSARY. If the roads are covered with ice, it is important to assess whether your outing is important enough to risk harm to yourself, your vehicle, or others and their vehicles. If driving can’t be avoided, start your journey by being prepared! Make sure your Winter Emergency Car Kit is fully stocked and ready for use, your gas tank is at least half full, and all snow and ice has been removed from your vehicle – including headlights. It is important to remain visible at all times.
Invest in Snow & Ice Tires
Consider having winter tires installed on your vehicle. While all-season tires are designed functional in the winter, nothing compares to having a set of purpose-built ice and snow tires installed to give you maximum acceleration, stopping power, and control over your vehicle in inclement weather. Most major tire brands offer dedicated winter tires to fit every budget.
Remain A Safe Distance Behind the Car In Front of You
Keep your distance! Braking on slippery surfaces requires more time, thus necessitating more space between you and the vehicle ahead. The recommended following distance on dry roads is 3-4 seconds. This should be increased to 8-10 seconds on the snow or ice.
Keep Calm If You Feel Yourself Spinning Out
Speaking of braking – be sure to brake gently to avoid sliding or spinning out. If you feel your anti-lock braking system engage (this feels like a powerful vibration/grinding from the brake pedal), maintain firm pressure on the brake pedal and focus on maintaining control of the vehicle with smooth steering wheel input.
Avoid Cruise Control
Don’t use cruise control when roads could be icy. You should have as much control over your vehicle as possible.
Use Caution When Driving On Bridges
Watch for ice on bridges. We’ve all seen the signs, right? Bridges and low traffic roads freeze first, making them especially dangerous. Use extra caution when driving in these areas, or do your best to avoid them altogether!
It’s Okay to Go Slow
Reduce your speed. Adjust to changing conditions and allow extra time to reach your destination. Some drivers are much more scared than you (it’s true!) and they may be moving along at a snail’s pace. That’s a good thing, though — the slower you’re going, the less likely you’ll be injured if you do happen to get into an accident.
Be Aware of Drivers Around You
Finally, stay focused, alert, and aware. Be attentive to what is going on around you. Actions by other vehicles may alert you to problems more quickly or give you time to react safely.
Driving on ice and snow can be challenging, but it is possible to be a safe and prepared driver, despite winter’s less than optimal driving conditions. If you have any questions as to whether you or your car are ready for winter driving, talk to our experienced techs at LOF-Xpress™! We’re here and committed to making sure you travel safely in all weather conditions! To schedule an oil change or any of our other services, contact us today.