Winter in Michigan is always treacherous. Snow, sleet, ice — we get it all, and we get a lot of it. Every year, without fail, there are tons of accidents with the first snowfall. AA Muffler & Brakes recommends you do your best to avoid driving in extreme weather conditions, but we also know that sometimes you have no choice in the matter. In the event that you must drive in bad weather, follow these driving tips to arrive at your destination safely.
- Drive Slow. The most effective way to drive safely in extreme weather is to simply go slow. Whether it’s snow, sleet, ice, or even rain, your tires will have a harder time gaining traction on the slippery surface. Driving at a slower speed will reduce your risk of spinning out and make it easier to control your car.
- Before getting in your car, clear off as much snow and ice as you can. Pay special attention to your headlights, windshield, hood, and roof. A clean car is a safe car. You don’t want anything obstructing your line of sight and snow flying off the roof of your car is a hazard to both yourself and drivers behind you.
- Stick to plowed areas whenever you can. Try to not slow down or stop on hills or other areas that are difficult to drive on. You should also be on the lookout for sharp curves and take them carefully. If you hit a patch of ice or snow, and your car spins out, do not hit the gas or the brake. ABS doesn’t work on ice and you might lock up your tires, further comprising your car. Instead, calmly and slowly turn into the spin and try to guide your car to a safe area.
- No one wants to get stuck in the snow, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready just in case. If you get stuck, stay near your car and put a bright marker either on the window or antenna. Only use your car to keep warm if you absolutely have to, and only use it sparingly. Make sure you keep the exhaust pipe clear as well.
- Keep up with your vehicle maintenance. The last thing you want when driving in hazardous conditions is to have your car break down. Make sure your tires are properly inflated for optimal traction and that your gas tank is at least half full so that your gas line doesn’t freeze. If you’re unsure whether your car is in good condition to brave the snow and ice, bring it into AA Muffler and Brakes for an inspection! Our expert technicians are always ready and willing to help keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
- Finally, stay home. During dangerous weather conditions you should avoid leaving home at all costs. So if you don’t have to leave, don’t leave. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re an expert driver in the snow because not everyone else is. Don’t risk it. If you aren’t required to be somewhere, stay home and watch the snowfall while curled up in front of the fireplace.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday season from everyone at AA Muffler and Brakes!