We all know it snows pretty heavily in South Dakota. While you probably are used to driving in snow, it doesn’t hurt to refamiliarize yourself with safety tips after enjoying a few months of sunshine. Here are our main tips for driving in through snow and ice.
#1: Avoid the Roads
It is a cliche, but the best way to be safe is to not go out on the roads, especially if you aren’t comfortable doing so. Whenever you get behind the wheel of a car, you are accepting the responsibility to drive in a way that reasonably avoids harm. If you don’t feel comfortable accepting that responsibility, then stay home!
#2: Slow is The Way to Go
Studies have shown that traction and braking power decrease significantly when traveling over ice or snow. Driving slowly helps to mitigate this risk by not asking as much from your brakes. Additionally, braking suddenly can cause your tires to slip and lose traction, so it’s best to brake much more gradually than you normally would.
#3: Inertia is Your Friend
Icy roads make it much more difficult for your tires to grip the roads and move you forward. This is especially true for a stopped position on a hill. Try your best to avoid stopping on slopes and use inertia to get you over those difficult spots.
#4: Know When You Need Chains
It doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Have chains in your trunk in case you need them. You likely won’t need them at all if you live in the city because the roads will be plowed and salted, but depending on where you go throughout the state it may be necessary. Don’t be caught unprepared!
#5: All-Wheel Drive Isn’t the Answer
All-wheel drive vehicles are great, but they don’t really help that much when traveling on ice and snow. You’re likely to have a bit more traction, but they’ll do nothing to help you stop. Not being able to stop quickly enough is the biggest cause of accidents in icy weather, so you’ll still need to drive much slower even if you have an all-wheel drive.
If you or a loved one is ever involved in a car crash, our lawyers at Whiting Haag Haag Dorsey & Haag can help you receive the settlement you deserve. Give us a call at (605) 250-3003 or fill out an online contact form.