6 winter driving tips

As winter weather hits much of the country it’s important to keep in mind the challenges and potential dangers of slick-surface driving. Here are a few things to keep in mind this winter:

1.) Be sure you’ve refreshed yourself on the dos and don’ts of skid control and take the time to practice a bit in an empty parking lot. You may fully believe that you can easily handle a skid but when the slick hits the fan, so to speak, you’ll want to be very sure your reflexive response is quick and appropriate.

2.) Remember the reality of reduced traction during snowy, slippery weather and stay doubly alert for sharp turns and curvy roads, particularly if you’re driving at an increased rate of speed while responding to a call.

3.) Don’t assume that you’ll be able to stop within a normal distance when approaching that stop sign. Plan ahead and test your braking ability in slippery weather.

4.) How’s the tread on your tires? The fleet manager takes care of that for you? Check anyway!

5.) Remember that snow banks are tempting for sledding kids. If you see a pack of mini-lugers, don’t assume that they’ll be smart enough to avoid taking the street side route down the pile that could send them right into your path.

6.) Don’t assume that other drivers are prepared to deal with slippery road surfaces appropriately. They very likely aren’t... you’ve seen the accidents! Keep your distance as much as possible when driving gets slick.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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