Whether you are an experienced driver or a new driver, winter driving can be challenging. Young Drivers of Canada has providing their top five winter driving tactics every Canadian on the road needs to know to stay safe. These are proactive driving tips as well as what to do if you get into trouble.
Road conditions can change suddenly with high winds, snow squalls, heavy rain and dreaded black ice. Handling your vehicle in winter driving conditions requires a higher level of concentration and an adjustment in driving style. Young Drivers President Peter Christianson says, “Reduce your risks on the road by driving defensively. Drop the distractions and keep complete focus on the task of driving to steer safely throughout this winter.”
Young Drivers of Canada offers these 5 key defensive driving techniques.
Keep Space - Over 90% of all collisions are caused by driver error. In order to stay out of collisions you need to keep space around your vehicle at all times. Keep a space cushion in front, behind and on both sides in order to always have an escape route open and be prepared to use it.
Increase Your Following Distance - Poor road conditions make it more difficult to stop. Increase your following distance to 4 seconds and adjust your speed accordingly.
Emergency Stopping with ABS Brakes - ABS brakes are now common on newer vehicles in Canada. To maximize their stopping power, hit the brake as quickly and as hard as you can. Stay on the brake without letting up until you stop. You would only lift off the brake if you were certain to hit something and you had the opportunity to steer into space or something softer.
Emergency Stopping with Threshold System - If your car does not have ABS, threshold braking is your emergency stopping technique. With threshold braking, you get on the brakes initially about 80% so you shift the weight to the front of the car then increase the brake pressure progressively. If a wheel locks up, pull back a little on brake pressure.
Maintain Control When You Hit Ice - Remember two things if you start to lose control: shift into neutral (or put in the clutch if you have a standard transmission), and take your foot off the gas. Then look well ahead and steer immediately to keep the vehicle straight. Once under control, steer in the direction you want to go.
For additional winter driving tips or to sign up for winter driving lessons please visit www.yd.com.