Driving in the snow: What you should know

September 8th, 2020 by

Ok, we know, we know – this is Orlando and our chances of seeing ANY snow this year are basically zero. However, we also know that the holidays are coming up and with them bringing holiday road travel to see friends and family. Even if we won’t see snow here in Central Florida, there’s a chance you may encounter it on your holiday road trip (it’s snowing in Denver today, already!). That’s why we’ve compiled this quick guide to driving in the snow so you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature may throw your way.

Toyota of Orlando tips

Tip #1: Slow down. A lot. 

When driving in the snow, you should significantly reduce your speed. Even in the best of conditions, the roads will be slippery and slick and your chances of losing traction are high. The slower you’re going, the more control you’ll have over your vehicle. Just remember to stay in the right lane so other drivers can get around you.

Tip #2: Leave more distance. 

You should always leave more distance between your Orlando Toyota and the car in front of you when driving in the snow. Conditions are very likely to be slippery and if the car in front of you brakes suddenly or loses control, you want to ensure you have plenty of space to bring your car to a stop without slamming on your brakes or having to swerve out of the way.

Tip #3: Take turns slowly and carefully. 

When you’re turning in the snow, you want to make sure you take your turns slowly and carefully, avoiding jerking the wheel. Why? Because if the road is slippery and you power through a turn, it’s likely that your back wheels will slide out from under you and you’ll lose traction. Slow down well before your turn and move the wheel gently.

driving in bad weather

Tip #4: Don’t make sudden movements. 

Don’t slam on your brakes or gas, and don’t jerk the steering wheel when driving in the snow. These sudden movements can cause your car to skid and lose traction, which puts you in danger of getting into an accident.

Tip #5: Don’t get too confident. 

Just because you have a car with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive doesn’t mean you’re impervious to the dangers of driving in the snow. Yes, you’ll likely have better traction, but you can still lose control and should still take steps to drive as carefully as you can to avoid an accident.

Tip #6: If you skid, don’t slam on the brakes (even though that’ll likely be your first reaction).

Instead, take your foot off the gas. If your front wheels are sliding, removing your foot from the gas should let the tires regain traction in a moment or two. If your rear wheels are sliding, turn your steering wheel in the same direction that your wheels are sliding. As you regain traction, slowly and deliberately start to steer in the opposite direction.

Have questions or think you need to make an appointment to get your car road-ready before you travel? Call Toyota of Orlando any time at (407) 298-0001.