Winter Driving Tips from "The Teen Car Coach"

February 10, 2010 10:13:40 AM PST
Putting up with the winter storm of the past two days has reminded us that we need to drive a lot differently when it's snowing. Inexperienced drivers, like teenagers, can use some special guidance. But they may pay more attention to someone their own age. That's why Shelby Fix, who calls herself "The Teen Car Coach" has come up with some winter driving tips for teens. Shelby's timely advice can help drivers of all ages.Shelby, named for famed car racer and designer Carroll Shelby, has been around cars all her life. She is in Chicago to visit the auto show with her mom, car specialist, author and blogger Lauren Fix, The Car Coach. For more tips from Lauren and Shelby, visit www.laurenfix.com, laurenfix.blogspot.com and www.laurenfix.com/site/?site=2&d=11&dt=7

Here are a few of Shelby's driving tips to prepare drivers for the winter weather conditions on the road:

As winter sets in, the roads can become a treacherous place for a vehicle. Heavy rain, snow, sleet, and ice can create a whole new world on the road than what most are used to driving on. Try not to be caught off guard when the weather turns frightful, and review these tips before you head out on those slippery roads, Shelby says:

1) ADJUST YOUR SPEED TO THE CURRENT CONDITIONS.
When driving in challenging conditions, slow down. Decreasing speed will allow more time to respond when a difficult situation occurs.

2) ANTICIPATE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.
Many studies have shown that 80% of all accidents could be prevented with only one more second to react. This one second can be gained by looking far enough ahead of to identify problems before becoming a part of them.

3) USE GRIP EFFECTIVELY.
When roads are slippery, always brake in a straight line before the curve in the road. Taking your foot off the brake before steering into the corner allows you to use the entire grip available for steering. Don't accelerate until the steering wheel is straight.

4) DRIVE WITH YOUR HEAD LIGHTS ON.
Whenever daytime visibility is less than clear be sure to turn on head lights as to be seen by other drivers. Remember this rule of thumb: wipers on, lights on. When traveling in snowy weather remember to regularly clear tail lights, turn signal lights, and headlamps.

5) ANTI-LOCK BRAKES CAN'T PERFORM MIRACLES.
Although ABS braking systems offer the ability to brake and steer, they are still limited by the grip available on the road and the type of tires on your vehicle. If you're driving too fast into a corner and try to brake, even ABS won't keep you on the road.

6) DRIVING AT NIGHT.
Leave headlamps on low beam when driving in snow or fog. This will minimize the reflection and glare, improve visibility, and will help reduce eye fatigue.

7) WEAR QUALITY SUNGLASSES.
Good-quality sunglasses help highlight changes in the terrain and road surface even in low visibility conditions. Polarized lenses are your best choice.


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