It’s that time of the year when snowstorms can cause havoc and headaches for fleet managers and their drivers. Here are some seasonal driving tips from the Washington State Department of Transportation:
Protect yourself and your passengers. Allow extra time to reach your destination during inclement weather. It takes only one unprepared or careless driver to slow or stop traffic. Do not be that driver who shuts down the road.
Drive for conditions – slower speeds, slower acceleration.
Use your headlights.
Do not use cruise control.
Remember, four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice.
Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. And remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.
Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots.
If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it until it is safe to pass. Remember that a snowplow driver has a limited field of vision. Stay back (15 car lengths) until you’re sure it is safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road.
On multi-lane roadways, snowplows often need to clear the center, throwing snow, ice and slush into nearby lanes. If approaching an oncoming snowplow, slow down and give the plow a little extra room.
Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up and removal areas. There are often people out of their vehicles.
Here's a video, produced by Michelin, which offers tips on braking in winter weather.