Winter Driving Tips

Hidden Valley Lake is fortunate to have a maintenance crew doing a great job keeping our roads clear in winter. But for the times we have to venture abroad in slick conditions, here are a few tips for safe winter driving:

Clear off snow and ice:
Don’t forget all of the windows and the roof.

Reduce your speed:
In slippery conditions tires lose their grip more easily, affecting all aspects of your driving, turning and accelerating. Keeping speeds down allows more time to react to slippage or collision and will lesson damage should things go wrong.

Perform one action at a time:
Asking the vehicle to do two things at once-such as braking and turning, or accelerating and turning, can reduce your control. When taking a turn on a slippery surface for instance, slowly apply the brakes while vehicle is going straight.

Avoid sudden actions:
A quick maneuver-such as hard braking, a quick turn of the steering wheel, sudden acceleration, or shifting a manual transmission, can upset a vehicle’s dynamics when making a turn. Rapidly transferring the weight from one end or corner to another can throw a car off balance. This can cause it to more easily go out of control.

Accelerate slowly to reduce wheel spin:
Start in second gear if you have a manual transmission. For an automatic, select a gear for icy conditions, so the vehicle is less likely to spin tires.

Don’t lock your wheels when breaking:
Locked wheels cause the car to slide or skid. If you have a vehicle without ABS (antilock braking system), you may have to “pump” the brakes to keep them from locking up. If you do have ABS, apply the brake pedal and hold down, this may give a “shuddering” sound or feel in the pedal, don’t lift off the pedal the system is doing its job.

Don’t let four wheel drive or all wheel drive give you a false sense of security:
4WD or AWD only provide traction only when accelerating. There is no advantage when braking.

Be ready for a slide:
Should the rear end of the car slide when cornering, let off the gas and turn in the direction of the slide.

Remember safety systems may bend the laws of physics, but they can’t override carelessness.

Wishing You Safe Driving,
The Safety, Security, and Elections Committee
2/24/17

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