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.

As winter weather hits much of the country it’s important to keep in mind the challenges and potential dangers of slick-surface driving. (AP Image)
As winter weather hits much of the country it’s important to keep in mind the challenges and potential dangers of slick-surface driving. (AP Image)

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, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. 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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