Winter driving is part of life in Wisconsin. Every year, the sky unleashes a barrage of sleet, snow, ice and wind, and we grit our teeth and take it in stride. That being said, even life-long residents may benefit from a reminder about what not to do when the roads get treacherous.
Here are 5 things drivers should not do when driving in the Wisconsin winter:
Drive close to the car in front of you. In good weather conditions, it’s recommended that drivers follow the two-second rule. In the winter, AAA says that tripling that is a good idea. Drivers should stay five to six seconds behind the car in front of them.
Slam on the brakes. Hitting the brakes too quickly can cause cars to slide out of control on slippery roads. Instead, drivers are encouraged to keep the heel of the foot on the floor and depress the brake pedal slowly with the ball of the foot. When coming to a stop sign or light, drivers should start pressing the brake sooner than they would when the weather is warm.
Stop on a hill. Cars may not be able to move forward after stopping on an icy incline. Drivers should use caution when going up hills or avoid them entirely if possible.
Speed. Speeding can be dangerous in any weather, but on wintery roads it can be a recipe for tragedy. Instead, leave early and drive a safe speed, going less than the limit if the weather requires.
Drive as much as possible. We all have places we need to go and cannot simply hibernate during the winter. However, drivers can try think ahead to determine how to combine errands, skip unnecessary excursions and minimize time on the road, thus reducing the risk of a winter car accident.
The unfortunate reality is that winter weather and the rush of the holiday season have historically meant that winter months have a dramatically higher number of car accidents than other times of the year. Please use caution on the roads. We want you to stay safe through this Wisconsin winter.