Avoid These Deadly Driving Mistakes in Winter

November 5th, 2015

From the tire pros at 106 St Tire and Wheel, TWO WORDS about winter driving? “DRIVE SLOWLY”

The University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health did a study that reports there is a casual affect of driving in poor weather and an estimated and staggering 7,000 deaths a year. About 800,000 injuries also result with a shocking 1.5 million car crashes yearly across the nation with an estimated economic toll of $42 billion. Yep, that’s billion with a “B”. Why? The number one reason is not being properly prepared. Ever hear the expression an ounce of preventions is worth a pound of cure? You can’t control the weather but you can sure be ready for it.

Bad weather causes almost 20% of highway deaths according to this report. The report indicates that the most dangerous day to drive is the day after the first winter storm of the year when despite all the warnings people are unprepared to avoid driving or don't adopt safer procedures as completely as they, hopefully, will later in the winter driving season.

106 St Tire & Wheel is always urging its customers to be prepared by Veteran’s Day by winterizing their car (anti-freeze, new windshield wiper blades, checking their battery, etc) and by checking their tires for wear, getting your belts and hoses inspected (106 St Tire & Wheel does this for free all year long!), getting your brakes inspected considering a great winter tire like Bridgestone Blizzak, putting together emergency kits with flash lights, warm clothes, rope, water, snacks that are not perishable, blankets, plug in cell phone charger for your car, shovel, cat litter, windshield ice scraper and brush, 2 pairs of gloves, etc.

(a) Winter driving mistake #1:
Listen to the weather or check out the sites online that update the weather conditions. In other words, stay prepared. Do so at least a couple of times a day in the winter and know what to expect! If possible, take public transportation if the weather report sounds dismal.

Always let your family and friends know where you’ll be that day or post it on Facebook so if you breakdown people will have some idea where to look or tell authorities where to look!

Keep your phone charged (put an “ICE” number into your cell phone! This is a universally accepted code for who you want called IN CASE OF EMERGENCY so select someone who can be proactive in helping you), take extra warm dry clothes, etc (see above) and get your tire pressure checked before you start the day, this alone, is a critical factor in yours and your vehicle’s safety. 106 St Tire & Wheel locations will do this for your free all the time.

(b) Winter driving mistake #2:

Slippery roads require you to adjust your driving techniques. Slow down. Drive at least 200-300 feet behind the driver in front of you. Yes, it’s slower than you want to go but do you really want to be a statistic?

(c) Winter driving mistake #3

If you start to skid, stay calm and take your foot off the gas immediately.  Apply the brake gently. Many cars of today have anti-lock brake systems, therefore, apply slow, steady, constant pressure on your brakes. Expect some braking vibration--that's normal. For vehicles without anti-lock brakes, remember to pump your brakes slowly.

If you do start skidding you need to turn your wheel gently in the direction you want your front end to go. Don’t panic and slam on your brakes!

If the car starts to slide while you are going around a corner, slowly and gently accelerate to transfer the weight to your rear wheels.  This lets you steer toward the skid and helps you regain control over your vehicle. If your car has rear-wheel drive, accelerate very slowly or your tires may over-spin completely out in the turn.

If you are driving a new car, use a parking lot during or after a snowfall and get a feel for how
the car handles in ice and snow this way you will be prepared and know what to expect. 

Remember, 106 St Tire & Wheel offers free safety inspections to check various systems and vehicle parts that will help keep you and your family safe. All of our locations stand ready to serve you and make your vehicle as safe as it can be. All of our locations particpate and we know have 2 locations open 24/7 including all holidays:

OPEN ALL THE TIME: 106-01 Northern Blvd and 105-08 Northern Blvd, 718-446-6769.
(closed Christmas)

The rest of our locations on Merrick Blvd, Queens Blvd and 108 St are open 7 days and some holidays.

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