Winter Driving

These tips are provided by Safe Kids Huron Valley/C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

  • Misconceptions about 4-Wheel Drive/Snow Tires

    • 4-wheel drive and snow tires may help with traction in some conditions BUT be aware that all tires and vehicles will slide on ice or packed snow.

    Minimize Distractions

    • You need extra focus when driving in adverse weather.
    • Always practice distraction-free driving – don’t look at your cell phone and keep your eyes on the road.

    Weather and Road Conditions

             Winter Months with Reduced Daylight

    • In the winter months the sun rises later and sets sooner, increasing the amount of darkness.
    • Driving requires more attention when it’s dark, especially combined with other hazards like snow and ice.
    • When it’s dark it’s harder to see things like black ice, pedestrians, other vehicles and obstacles in or near the roadway.


    • When it is snowing, your vision is affected. Hazards like white-outs, snow squalls, and other conditions can affect your visibility.
    • Road Conditions – Different Conditions merit different driving techniques. Each condition requires you to drive slowly.

    Black Ice           Plowed            Packed Snow                Slush

    Keep all of your windows and lights clear, especially your windshield and rear window – it’s the law!

    • You need to be able to see well out of all of your windows. Take the time to clear them all off, not just a spot in your windshield that you can see through.

    Always wear your seatbelt and insist passengers do too!

    Speak up if you are riding with someone who is not driving carefully

    Practice These Winter Driving Tips and Techniques

    • Practice driving in the snow with parents or experienced adult.
    • Don’t drive during dangerous weather conditions.
    • Always be cautious in bad weather and drive slowly.
    • Accelerate and brake slowly.
    • Keep extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to stop suddenly.
    • Take turns slowly.
    • Look and steer in the direction you want to drive.
    • Do not use cruise control on wet, slippery, snowy, or icy roads.
    • When changing lanes don’t cut off other drivers, especially vehicles like semi-trucks that need extra space and time to stop.
    • Never drive when you are tired or fatigued.

    Keep cold-weather supplies in your car:

    • Extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a window scraper, blankets, and a phone charger.

    Stay in your vehicle if you are stranded. Call the police or road-side assistance.