7 do's and don'ts of winter weather driving

Joe Torres reports from Rye.
January 22, 2014 3:15:44 PM PST
Shawn Murphy of the Fresh Green Light Driving School in Rye walked Eyewitness News through seven do's and don'ts of winter weather driving such as, cut your speed in half.

"Because you have such a loss in traction, you need a lot more stopping distance," Murphy said.

And that's a big reason why need to increase the normal distance between you and the car in front by three.

"Just to leave that cushion, the car in front of you stops or gets into an accident, you want plenty of time to react," Murphy said.

Lighten up, not only on the gas but on the brake as well.

"The general theme is when you lose control or you lose traction, the worst thing to do is slam on the brake. The wheels can lock up and you can increase the amount of slide," Murphy said.

Speaking of the brakes, in the event of a quick stop, there's no need to pump them.

"A lot of people don't realize that anti-lock braking systems involve the car's brakes pumping by themselves," Murphy said.

What if you've already lost traction? Murphy says turn into a skid.

"In general, if you ease off the brake and you turn into the skid you'll find that you can maintain control," Murphy said.

If you're skidding out of control, focus your attention in the direction you want to go.

"The worst thing you can do is just look all over the place. That is just going to disorient you. It's much more productive if you try to focus on the area where you want to continue driving," Murphy said.

And if you absolutely have to drive in wintry weather, proper timing is key.

"Wait for the plows to do their job, to do their sanding, to do their plowing, to do their salts," Murphy said.

Following these tips should keep you from ending up in a crash.