Snow, ice, and dropping temperatures can make your commute slower and, occasionally, more dangerous. Stay safe by being prepared for all driving situations.
We spoke with Mark Cox, director of Bridgestone’s Winter Driving School, about the best way to handle a skid, hill, and dropping temperatures. Test your knowledge of these subjects and read advice from Cox. And note: when weather is particularly treacherous, it’s best to avoid driving altogether. Next
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
“Modern cars are ready to go pretty quickly,” Cox said. “The main thing as far as time goes is making sure all your windows are clear. Until it’s warm enough that they’re all clear, you shouldn’t be driving.” The mechanics are good to go in 30 seconds.
Cox recommends setting all the heater switches to the position you want them to be in before you leave the car in the cold. “If it’s 30 or 40 below, if you turn a plastic switch it can break,” he said. “Avoid that by doing it the day before.” Next
“In a rear-wheel drive car a lot of people put weight in the back,” Cox said. “It gives you a little more weight when you’re starting off and you have more margin of error.”
The net result is zero or worse. When you’re moving, the weight becomes that much more weight you have to stop and that much more pulling you in a direction. “You have two bad things happening and one perceived good thing,” Cox said. Next
Answer: 4 to 10 times longer
It takes significantly longer to stop in ice and snow than in ideal driving conditions. “As a driver, you have to be looking that much farther ahead,” Cox said. “You never want to get in a situation where you’re forced to react.
“People think good reactions make a good driver. Reactions are when you already made a mistake,” Cox said. “Ultimately, you want to be able to identify not only the problem but the solution and respond accordingly.” Next