How to stay safe when driving in winter weather


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – When snow starts falling, plows are already hard at work spreading salt on dry covered roads in preparation for the storm.

Driving in severe weather can be dangerous, so staying alert is important.

Agawam Auto School Instructor Gerald Smith told 22News, drivers should not tailgate. “Normally you should be about 30-45 feet behind a car, we’d like to see you double that amount and maybe have yourself be 90 feet behind a car.”

22News Storm Team Meteorologist Adam Strzempko is working for you by closely watching the radar and snowfall totals. “We’re not talking about a lot of snow, but we’re talking about some freezing rain that’s mixing in and we may see some icing mixing in and that could make for some slippery driving conditions, especially for the morning commute.”

Drivers remember that you have to drive slow, so plan your trip accordingly. Everything takes longer on snow covered roads, including, accelerating, stopping and turning. If you start skidding on ice, stay calm, keep your hands steady, and control your braking.

Agawam Auto School said “Most of our cars have ABS brakes. Apply the brake firmly, leave your foot on the brake and you’ll feel the car, it gives a little rattle under your break pedal, but you know it’s working, and the ABS will help you stop the car much quicker than you can on your own.” and if you start skidding, “Steer into the skid. If your back end starts to slide out in either direction, turn your steering in the direction your backend is sliding out and that will straighten your car out for you,” said Smith.

Don’t apply to much gas when traveling up a hill, because it can make your wheels spin.