Driving Safely in the Illinois/Wisconsin Snow

Driving in the snowThe wintery weather mixtures of Northern Illinois will soon be arriving, and with it, the wonderful snowy days of playing outside, building snowmen and sledding. These are perfect days for staying home, but sometimes you can’t avoid driving in several feet of snow or on slippery ice. To avoid accidents or getting stuck, read and apply these tips for driving safely in the snow.

  1. Accelerate, Decelerate and Brake SLOWLY.

To keep your tires from spinning, never accelerate, decelerate or brake suddenly. You don’t want to skid or slide into a ditch, snow bank, object or another car.  The best way to slowly increase or decrease speed is to keep your heel on the floor of the car and apply steady pressure to or release pressure from the gas pedal or brake.

If you are going up a hill, don’t try to increase speed quickly. Instead, gather inertia from a flat surface or downward hill to clear the incline.

  1. Drive Slowly.

Accomplishing the first tip is much easier done when you aren’t driving at high speeds. It makes sense that if you need to brake, it is easier to do this slowly than from 70 miles per hour.

Drive slowly and try not to stop completely. If you can slow down enough to coast until a red light turns green, do this so you won’t have to try to gather up speed quickly.

  1. Don’t Use Cruise Control.

 Using the cruise control feature on slippery surfaces such as wet roads, ice or sand takes away from your control over your vehicle. Refrain from using it so that you will be able to accelerate, decelerate and brake slowly as needed.

  1. Have the Proper Equipment

 Be sure to check what the weather conditions will be like in your area. If the weather seems like it is going to be harsh, then it is a good idea to have snow tires or chains for your tires on hand. These make slipping and sliding less likely because it will provide your tires with easier traction.

  1. In Case of Emergency

 If you are stranded in the snow, there are some essential preparations you will need to have completed and items you must have on hand. First, make sure you have at least half a tank of gas at all times during a winter storm. Second, pack an emergency kit with blankets, hats, gloves, food, water and a brightly colored cloth to place in a rolled up window as a distress signal. Use your cell phone to call for help and do not leave your car.

Enjoy your snow days, but be careful! Try not to leave your home on the day of a winter storm if you don’t have to. Luckily, your Gerstad Builders home is built to be cozy and comfortable for you and your family. Snuggle up by the fire after a day of playing in the snow and enjoy your time together as a family.

Learn more about our communities in snowy Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin by visiting www.GerstadBuilders.com.