Photo by Antti T. Nissinen via Flickr
The Denver Post wrote this with Coloradans in mind, but driving on snow and ice is what it is no matter where it takes place.
Being a successful driver on snow and ice calls for a return to some of the basics of driver’s ed classes: Avoid sudden stops, starts and lane changes.
Pay attention to your surroundings, watch out for the other driver, concentrate and avoid distractions — this means you, cellphone users ferrying carloads of kids and big, wet Labrador retrievers.
Practice also helps.
Motoring demands motor skills. Like a sport, you can read about it all you want, but to really learn it you have to get in the game.
“It’s really all about winterizing your driving skills as well as your car,” says Mark Stolberg, vice president of training at MasterDrive, a school with four Colorado locations. “When it comes to how your car handles, winter is a real transition from what we’re used to in summer.”
The crucial difference, of course, is traction.
Stolberg urges drivers to think in terms of “available” traction. If dry pavement represents 100 units of traction and wet pavement represents 60, snow translates into 20-30 units of traction. Ice is 20.
“If you’re trying a 70-unit maneuver when there’s only 20 units available, the car will slide,” Stolberg says. “It doesn’t matter what the car’s equipped with. That flies in the face of a lot of advertising, but traction is provided by the road surface, and no button inside a car will change that.”
via The Denver Post.