Winter Driving Tips
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has dusted the snowflakes from this list of safe driving tips to help get motorists home safely.
The snow has settled in Cobb County, and freezing rain and ice are making the already hazardous driving conditions worse. If you must work, or can't live without those Waffle House biscuits, here are driving tips from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety:
- If you don't have to go out during hazardous weather conditions, stay home. This isn't the blizzard of the century, so save yourself unnecessary trips to stock up on peanut butter and flapjacks. Stay home where it's warm and you won't run a chance of crashing on icy roads or being stranded in the cold.
- If you have to drive, give it your full concentration. This is no time for distracted drivers with a cellphone in one hand and hot coffee in the other. Drive cautiously with both hands on the wheel. Two-fisted drivers are ready for the unexpected when steering becomes a challenge. And buckle your safety belt.
- Slow down. Driving too fast for conditions is what gets too many drivers in trouble when they hit those unseen pockets of icy road. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Expect delays. Plan to be patient or don't plan to leave the house at all.
- Don't tailgate or follow too close. Avoid grouping-up with a pack of other vehicles, especially at higher speeds. This may help you to avoid those terrible chain reaction crashes you see on the news.
- Don't use cruise control when driving on ice, snow or sleet. Cruise control is designed for normal driving conditions. Slippery roads can cause wheel spin and loss of control when you're locked in cruise control. The time it takes to disengage cruise control may be time you don't have during a spin-out.
- Don't panic. Don't slam on the brakes. If you find yourself sliding or losing control, take your foot off the gas and resist the temptation to slam on the brakes. Sudden braking will eliminate what little traction you have.
- Even the most experienced drivers are at the mercy of the ice if they start to spin. If you're already driving slowly, spin-outs aren't as deadly or as terrifying. Experienced road troopers at the Georgia State Patrol advise us to steer in the direction of the spin until the vehicle comes to a stop.
- This brings us back to tip No. 1. Don't drive if you don't have to. Once you're stranded during a severe weather episode, it can take emergency services a while to get to you because of the increased number of severe incidents. Remember, responders have to drive on those icy roads too. State troopers advise that motorists who insist on driving in severe weather conditions should have at least a half-tank of gas, carry a freshly charged cellphone, pack warm clothes and a blanket, and have a working flashlight.