Driving this Winter: Stay in Control

Changing temperatures and weather conditions can lead to changes in your driving. Here are a few tips for anticipating and handling winter driving conditions.

Insurance

Driving this Winter: Stay in Control

For many parts of the country, it's that time of year again when temperatures drop and driving conditions can become treacherous. When that happens, it's easy to lose control of your vehicle.


One of the most dangerous winter driving hazards is skidding which, at high speeds, could result in a crash. But most skids can be avoided by simply adjusting to driving conditions and knowing how to recover from a skid.

Here are some tips for safe winter driving to avoid skids:

  • Prepare for curves and turns.
    • Skids are most likely to occur on curves and turns, so slow down ahead of time to prepare for them.
    • Then, when in the curve, accelerate slowly and steer steadily with no abrupt change in direction and, especially, no abrupt braking.
  • Plan ahead for lane changes.
    • Check your rearview mirror and blind spot, and then signal your direction to alert other motorists.
    • When changing lanes, move over in a long, gradual line with minimal steering changes.
  • Look out for ice patches, piles of wet leaves and shady areas. These areas are skidding hazards.
  • Anticipate stops by slowing down gradually, well ahead of intersections. These areas are generally slicker than other parts of the road because of the excess starting and stopping of traffic.
  • Drive at reduced speeds.
    • Slow your speed and increase the distance behind the vehicle in front of you. This will allow for a larger buffer in case you start to lose control.
  • Avoid overpowering in deep snow.
    • Use a light foot on the accelerator (rather than slamming on the gas to move forward).

If You Start to Skid…

  • If your car starts to skid, do not panic. Steer in the direction that the vehicle is sliding until you feel the wheels regain traction. Then, slowly straighten your wheels and keep rolling.
  • If you need to brake before your tires regain traction, apply the brake carefully.

General Winter Driving Tips

Since accidents are common in winter, you should be extra cautious while driving. It is also a good idea to practice driving in slippery conditions so you are well-prepared and comfortable.

No matter what time of year, it's a good idea to make sure you have the right auto insurance in place for your needs. NCMIC Insurance Services can help. Contact one of our experienced agents today by calling 800-769-2000, ext. 8180 or email agents@ncmic.com.


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.