We've been pretty fortunate thus far this winter in Ohio but... it's not over.  When we do get dumped on (and we will), it may be helpful to have some reminders of how to avoid accidents and in turn higher auto insurance premiums.

Slow Down
As frustrating as it may be for our busy lifestyles, there is one thing that will help you avoid an accident in snow and ice more than anything else:  just...slow...down.  And don't be fooled:  while four wheel drive may help you get out of the snow, it won't do anything to keep you from sliding on ice.

Make Gradual Corrections Whenever Possible
Don't make sharp turns or sudden movements of your wheels as long as you can.  The best way to get out of a slide or fishtail situation is to not get into one in the first place.

Make Room
Give yourself plenty of distance between you and other vehicles on the road.  If you need to stop on ice, your tires cannot create adequate friction to stop your vehicle like they can on dry pavement.

Steer Into the Slide
If you do find yourself losing control, turn your steering wheel into the direction that the rear of your car is sliding.  This will help avoid spinning out of control and hopefully allow you to maintain a straight line, even if it's not in the lane you were driving in.

Gear Down, Go Down
If you find yourself at the top of an icy hill, you should wait until all the cars in front of you have successfully made it to the bottom of the hill before proceeding.  Then you will want to gear down as far as you can and use your vehicle's transmission to take you slowly down the hill.  Avoid braking if at all possible and try to maintain a straight path.

I remember once when I was in my early twenties I was in the deep south in late December when a freak ice storm hit.  Having learned to drive in wintry conditions using the above guidelines, I was able to get around quite well, while it seemed like all the locals found themselves in the ditch or in each others' bumpers.  Have you found yourself in a dangerous situation on snow or ice before?  What happened?  What could you tell others that would allow them to avoid a similar situation?
Posted 2:00 PM

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