How to Drive in Snow Safely

Drive Smoothly

The key to safe driving in snow is being smooth with the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes.

Why? Jerky movements with the controls easily unstick tires that have a tenuous grip on the slippery road, so with every turn of the wheel, push of the brakes.

Look Far Ahead

Anticipate what you'll need to do next. Slow way down for turns. Allow double the stopping distance when the road is wet, triple on snow, and even more on ice.

Deal with the Skids

For a front-wheel skid—where the front tires lose grip and the car turns in a wider arc than you expect—ease off the gas. In a beat or two, the front tires should regain traction. Then aim where you want to go as your traction returns.

Heed the Flashing Lights

(It's an outline of a car with squiggly lines behind it.) If you're accelerating in a straight line and this light is blinking, 

this is the stability-control system warning you that the wheels that drive the car are slipping. Heed it. And ease up on the accelerator so the tires regain their grip.

Is the surface shiny or dull? Is there a uniform coating of powder, or bare spots interspersed with snow in the shade? Is the temperature cold enough to ensure crunchy, light, snow, or is it warm enough to create a slushy mess?

Read the Road

Use Your Anti-Lock Brakes This Way

it's time to engage the help of your car's anti-lock brake system (ABS). All new vehicles on the road today are equipped with anti-lock brakes.

you need to avoid an obstacle—and your vehicle has ABS—push the brake pedal down hard, and don't let up.