An average of 1,836 people die in car accidents caused by winter weather conditions every year. Pennsylvania is one of the four states with the most deaths attributed to winter weather driving.
What can you do to stay safer on the roads?
Avoid jerky movements
Jerking the steering wheel or braking too hard can cause your tires to lose traction when you are driving on a snowy road. Be gentle, deliberate and gradual when adjusting steering or braking.
Pay attention to your instrument panel
Most vehicles on the road today can detect a loss of traction and display a warning on the instrument panel. This usually appears as a car with squiggly lines behind it. When you see this warning, gently reduce the pressure on the gas pedal to allow your tires to regain traction.
Look where you want to go
If your car starts skidding, look where you want to go. Do not look in the direction your car is skidding. Your vehicle will usually go in the direction you are looking.
Look far down the road
The worse the conditions are on the road, the farther down the road you need to look while you are driving. This gives you more time to anticipate what you need to do. Reduce your speed when you are approaching a turn and allow twice the stopping distance you would under normal conditions.
You can not control what the other drivers do on the road in bad weather conditions. However, by practicing safe winter weather driving you can reduce your chances of getting into an accident.