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Driving Tips for Slippery Conditions

Even though a regular car service can keep your car in tiptop condition, you still need to be especially prepared for driving in slippery conditions. Whether the slippery conditions are caused by rain, hail, snow, sleet or an oil spill, you need to be more careful than normal.

Here are some tips for making your trip safer when driving in these dangerous conditions.

  • Slow down. It goes without saying that driving at speed in any slippery conditions will only add to the danger. Don’t be concerned that you are travelling at lower than normal speeds or that other vehicles around you are travelling faster. You should only drive at a speed you feel comfortable with, especially in such dangerous conditions. Even if you are driving a four-wheel-drive that is built more specifically for these conditions, lowering your speed is still a necessity.
  • Travel at a safe distance from the vehicle in front. When conditions are dangerous it is always better to give yourself more room to move and keep clear of any flying water from the car in front of you. As a rule of thumb try to keep at least four or five car lengths from the current front of you.
  • One of the important issues that some drivers ignore is how anti-lock brakes work. Check out your car manual to get the full details so you are completely comfortable with anti-lock brakes in slippery conditions.
  • As you are driving, use the accelerator and brakes gently. In other words don’t make any sudden movements or use the accelerator or brake sharply otherwise you will lose control.
  • If you see snow on the road take your foot off the accelerator so you avoid spinning out.
  • If you are driving near snowploughs or other machinery make sure you slow down even more and be careful to avoid any vehicles that may be stranded on the road. Also beware of other obstacles that may be blocking the road for example trees or telephone wires.
  • Never use cruise control when driving in icy or rainy weather. This is because you need to maintain complete control of the vehicle at all times, so the use of any automated systems should be avoided.
  • In order to maintain complete attention and focus when driving in slippery conditions, never usual a mobile phone. Even if you have a hands-free function you should only use the phone in an emergency. In a similar vein, your radio should only be tuned to information stations so you are not distracted by music.
  • If the car in front of you has snow on the roof keep as far away as possible in case it ends up flying into the air and on to your vehicle or falling off the roof creating an obstacle for you. This should also serve as a reminder for you to remove all snow from the roof of your vehicle before starting out.

The next time you take your vehicle in for an auto service, make sure to ask your mechanic to check your vehicle so that it is prepared for driving in slippery conditions.

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