Traveling north for business? Tips for driving safely in the snow

Is business taking you out of Louisiana and into the north anytime soon? With much of the northern United States seeing major snowstorms this winter, it's important to make sure that you're prepared to handle the drive.

Here are some basics, straight from AAA, that you should know about winter driving:

1. Check your tires.

You can't get away with thin treads in the snow. Check your tire treads by using the old penny trick. Stick a penny in the tread with Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see Lincoln's entire head, your tread is too thin. You need to replace the tires before you head north.

It doesn't matter if you have radial tires or bias tires, but don't mix them when you're traveling in snow. You won't get the proper grip on the road and risk spinning out.

You also need to check and make certain that your tire pressure is correct. This is something you should stop and check again once you reach colder areas, because the cold can sometimes affect tire pressure. Poor tire pressure can lead to spin outs as well.

2. Learn how to stop properly in the snow.

Stopping properly in the snow is difficult. In fact, it's actually best to avoid a full stop if you can, because it could cause you to spin out when you try to start up again.

Drive slowly in snow, and take your foot off the pedal to drift to a stop when possible. When that's not possible, keep your heel on the floor and slowly press down on the brake for an even stop. If the back of your car starts to "fishtail," you're braking too fast.

Also, make certain that you give yourself plenty of space for stops. Keep a significant distance between your vehicle and any in front of you, and let tailgaters pass you by!

3. Learn how to respond to a spin-out.

If your car is going into a full spin, try not to panic. Throw your car in neutral, take your hands off the wheel and keep your foot off the brake. Your car should come to a stop quickly.

Wintertime motor vehicle accidents can lead to a host of injuries that range from minor to serious. If you're hurt in one, it's wise to consider your legal options.

Source: exchange.aaa.com, "Winter Driving Tips," accessed Jan. 17, 2018

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