NSC Calls on Drivers to Learn Winter Driving Basics

The MyCarDoesWhat campaign offers tips for driving in wintry conditions.

The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa have teamed up to create the MyCarDoesWhat campaign—a campaign that calls on drivers to learn the basics of winter driving before heading out on dangerous roads. In 2013, 10,780 people were killed in car crashes between December and March, they report.

The campaign has the following tips for driving in wintry conditions:

  • Slow down: This is the golden rule of winter driving. Drivers need to recalibrate and adjust their driving in the winter. Drivers frequently underestimate how long it takes to brake and steer on slippery roads.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as ice and snow.
  • Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze first.
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.

An NSC press release also detailed the technologies available to help combat poor winter driving:

  • Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) help drivers steer in emergencies by restoring traction to tires. Contrary to popular belief, you should not pump the brakes when you have ABS; hold the brakes down firmly. They will buzz and vibrate when the ABS has activated.
  • Traction control helps you accelerate without spinning out on slippery surfaces.
  • Electronic stability control. Your car's computer helps sense when you may be losing control around a corner or curve by stabilizing your car when it begins to veer off your intended path.
  • Adaptive headlights react to changing roadway conditions, such as curves, to help illuminate the roadway during long winter nights.

"Travel can be treacherous when roadway surfaces are compromised during winter storms," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO. "The good news is that in-vehicle technologies can help drivers by providing advance warnings and preventing loss of control."

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