Although our winters are not typically as harsh as other states may experience, it’s important to know how to drive in adverse weather conditions. Here are some cold weather driving tips to keep in mind this season:
Don’t drive tired. This is true any time of year, but when the weather is bad, drivers need to be especially mindful. One study revealed that being awake for 18 hours straight is equivalent to a BAC of .05. Being awake for 24 hours straight produces the same effect as a BAC of .10 - a BAC of .08 is considered legally drunk! Driving while fatigued is just as bad, or worse than driving drunk!
Drive Slowly. Just because the speed limit is 75 doesn’t mean you should drive 75. Driving in rain or snow means that accelerating, stopping, and turning will all take longer than on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver!
Keep your distance. The rule of thumb is 3 or 4 seconds worth of distance between you and the car ahead of you. That’s under normal circumstances. In rain, snow, or on ice, increase that distance between you and the next car.
Know how to use your brakes. Every car since the 2012 model year features Anti-lock Braking Systems. To get the best use out of this feature, press firmly on the pedal and steer smoothly. Read and follow the recommendations in your vehicle’s manufacturer information. Visit the service department at Melloy Dodge if your brakes need to be inspected.
Look at weather reports. If you’re traveling this holiday season, find out what the weather will be like on your route before you head out. If especially bad weather is expected, delay your trip.
If you don’t have to go out, don’t. Sometimes it’s safer and more enjoyable to appreciate the snow from inside with a warm cup of hot chocolate!
Here at Melloy Dodge, we want all of our New Mexico drivers to be safe out there in the cold months ahead. Keep these driving tips in mind to keep yourself and your passengers protected!