Winter Driving Tips from the National Safety Council and University of Iowa
With winter nearly upon us, it’s even more important to safely navigate snowy and icy roads, particularly as slippery conditions will impair your ability to brake and steer. That’s why the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa—which jointly created the MyCarDoesWhat campaign—are encouraging drivers to improve their driving skills in anticipation of the road conditions typically seen this time of year.
Whenever driving in the winter, the most important rule of thumb is to SLOW DOWN. The next time you feel pressured to speed, consider this: The amount of time saved on a 5-mile trip while driving 65 mph in a 45 mph speed zone is only 1.9 minutes. Further, braking and steering are significantly less effective in winter conditions; and drivers often underestimate how long it will take to slow or stop a vehicle. Daniel McGehee, Director of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Program at the University of Iowa recently pointed out that technologies like anti-lock braking systems, traction control and electronic stability control can make an appreciable difference in negotiating poor conditions, but there’s no substitute for slowing down. 
Drivers should also remember that bridges and overpasses freeze first; and even when conditions are still good on the highway, these areas can be dangerous. It’s also wise to avoid using cruise control. Drivers need to be alert and remain focused on conditions, ready to make adjustments quickly. But one of the most effective ways to stay safe is to stay at home. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, postpone outings that are non-essential and stay off the road.
We all know that winter can be a magical time of year. Just make sure to prioritize safety so you can enjoy it. To learn more about the safety features of your car, visit MyCarDoesWhat.org.