Drive Smart Kentucky - Driving Tips to enhance safety on wintry roads
FRANKFORT, KY (December 8, 2005) - Snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice make for treacherous driving conditions. The mission of Kentucky’s “Drive Smart” program is to inform the public through education. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Driver Safety has winter driving tips for Kentuckians.
Good drivers know the special hazards of winter driving, but should be reminded about the dangers. “Drive Smart” encourages you to apply the following tips to prevent accidents on icy roads:
- Slow down at the first hint that the road is slick.
- Slow down gradually, well ahead of intersections.
- Create more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- If you begin to skid, steer in the direction the vehicle is sliding until you feel recovery of traction, then slowly straighten the wheels.
- Don’t slam on your brakes if you start to skid.
- Know what your brakes will do. With anti-lock, stomp and steer. Without Anti-lock, pump the brakes to avoid wheel lockup.
- You have better control in a skid situation if your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock breaks.
- Braking distance depends directly on the kind of contact the vehicle tires make with the slippery surface of the road.
- Your tires should have good tread.
- Plan ahead of time for lane changes; check your rearview mirrors, check your blind spots and signal your intentions to traffic behind you
- Lane changes should be made in a long, gradual motion.
- When you drive in deep snow conditions, you may find that stepping on the gas only provides a spinning of the wheels. A light foot on the gas pedal and a high gear is preferable.
- If you get stuck in the deep snow, you may only spin your wheels in trying to get out. Sometimes it helps to twist the steering wheel back and forth to push away snow in front then try again. A sprinkling of sand or light gravel in front of drive wheels, or a traction mat or a strip of carpet may be necessary. Easy rocking, back and forward, may help regain traction, but first know whether such shifting from forward to reverse and back again might damage your particular transmission. Even a shoveling out of snow may be necessary when you're stuck.
“Drive Smart” reminds motorists that the well informed driver is constantly on the lookout for areas that might induce skidding, such as unexpected ice patches or piles of wet leaves, to be found especially in shady areas or on overpasses.
Drivers can call 511 or log on to www.511.ky.gov to receive current updates on road conditions.
For more information please visit http://highwaysafety.ky.gov/ or http://drivesmart.ky.gov/.
Above all, please buckle up!