Safe Driving Tips: How to Drive on Icy or Snowy Roads

Snow and ice hit Albuquerque and our surrounding areas when we least expect it. In this week’s blog, Quanz Auto Body shares some safe driving tips so you are prepared for the winter weather.


Driving on Icy Roads

When there is even the slightest dusting of snow on warm asphalt and it begins to freeze, the roads can turn into a virtual skating rink. Traffic becomes snarled and cars end up sliding into ditches or worse. Before one of these unfortunate events happen, check out the following tips to keep in mind when driving on potentially icy roads:

  1. Never use your wiper blades as an ice scraper. If you are in the foothills or mountainous areas where ice is a regular occurrence in the winter, get some winter wiper blades. These blades are wrapped in a rubber boot to prevent ice and snow from sticking and packing, so you can have a clearer windshield with better visibility.
  1. Don’t use cruise control. Black ice is not very visible and you may never know when you will hit a patch that can send you spinning, especially on bridges. If you rely on cruise control, your car has more potential to slide and veer off the road into a ditch when hitting a patch of ice.
  1. If you suspect there are icy conditions on the road, don’t wait until you are skidding across the interstate. Try tapping the brakes to see how much traction you have, making sure there is no one behind you before doing so. If the roads end up being click, slow your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Always pay attention to the third or fourth car ahead to anticipate any problems with the road.
  1. Get out of overdrive or “economy” mode and stay in normal “drive.” This gear will cause the engine to slow down and act as a brake, helping your car slow safely in slippery conditions.

Snowy Roads

If you know you are about to have to drive on roads covered in snow, take extra precautions. Always check the local weather reports and plan to head out extra early to avoid feeling rushed or anxious while on the road.

  1. Remove all snow from the top of your vehicle and your windshield. Use a scraper if necessary, but do not rely on your windshield wipers to scrape the snow and ice for you.
  1. When roads are lightly covered with snow, you should drive 5 to 10mph slower than normal. When it is even heavier snow and you must drive, reduce your speed by at least half.
  1. Keep your headlights on at all times, even in the daytime. This will increase your visibility and help other drivers see you.
  1. Leave at least 3 times as much space as usual between you and the cars in front of you.

Though snow and ice add hazards to driving, by taking precautions like the ones listed above, you can keep calm and conquer the winter elements so you safely arrive at your destination. Quanz Auto Body cares about your safety and the safety of your vehicle. If you are worried about the conditions of your tires or wipers or engine, we can make it better. Bring it by one of our locations today and get a tune-up before winter conditions become harsh. Our Westside location serves all of your mechanical needs and our eastside location has all collision repairs covered. See you soon!