Snow and sleet and ice, oh my!

Let me see a show of hands. Who reading this blog thinks that winter driving is the same as driving at other times of the year? There better NOT be any hands up out there. Winter driving carries with it a unique set of challenges. Makes sense, right? And yet how many how many of us have experienced the nail biter, demolition derby, knuckles clenched on the steering wheel daily commute because some people don’t think the rules apply to them? We’ve all been there.

Since at Sentry we’re in the business of safety and northeast Ohio had its first major snowfall this week, just thought some observations and winter driving tips were a timely topic.

Consider this – an ordinary driver reacts to road situations while a good driver anticipates them. According to Car and Driver magazine winter driving doesn’t have to be as hard as people think; it just takes a little more concentration and awareness. If you’re a visual person like I am, these additional tips from the magazine really drive home the point.

“Drive like you’re tiptoeing on ice, because you might be. Use small, slow motions. Ease on the brakes, drive like there’s an egg under the accelerator, and if you start to skid, steer in the direction you want to go and keep steady, light pressure on the gas. If you’re skidding sideways, the brake is not the pedal to press. It will just make things worse.”

Be prepared for delays on the highway; give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Make sure your vehicle is prepared – windshield wipers work, a gas tank that’s at least half full, make sure your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread, make sure all your windows are clear for maximum visibility (not like the people who scrape out a small circle on the driver’s side windshield and head out onto the highway). Don’t brake at the last minute. It takes longer to slow down on wet and snow-covered roads that it does on dry pavement.

By no means is this a complete list of tips for safe winter driving. It’s just a snapshot. Most of all, please use common sense. It’s not only your safety at risk, it’s the safety of others around you.

Be safe.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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