Let it Snow! Winter Driving Tips

SnowDrivingIt’s officially here!  Snow is currently lightly falling at the office with more expected throughout the day. The tips below are courtesy of AAA.

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Stay warm and safe!


  1. Some great advice here! All you need is some common sense. The secret of safe driving is TIME (did I say that out loud?). Giving yourself time to react, time to slow down, time to stop, time to keep safe control of your vehicle.

    There is only one way to give yourself time….and thats reducing your speed! I don’t mean driving like a 90 year old grandmother. I mean driving at a speed which is appropriate for the road and the conditions.

    Moving off forward on ice & snow requires a higher gear and slow acceleration.

  2. Good tips. I’ve got a kind of cool one I learned from a good Samaritan that stopped to help me when I was stuck at the bottom of a hill spinning all over the place trying to get up it but coming shot every time. If you have a front wheel drive car or truck (I assume) and you cannot get up a hill, if you drive up it in reverse you likely can make it as the added weight of the engine in the front will grip into the snow/ice much better than the typically light rear end. Sounds a bit crazy but, I assure you that it works.

  3. Rob says:

    Great tips for winter driving. I recently moved and now find myself driving in the snow. I never had to before and need some advise. Thanks for the post!

  4. Rodney Ash says:

    Late to the article, but get ready it’s coming. Good article for preparing to drive in the snow. Let’s just hope it doesn’t snow that much.