Winter Driving Tips to Get You Through the Week

Mar 3, 2014

Even though snow isn't falling today, accumulation and ice resulting from thaws and refreezing can make for hazardous driving conditions.
Credit KWGS News File Photo

City crews started plowing and salting streets late Sunday night, but driving conditions are still hazardous.

Kurt Spitzner is an instructor at Bridgestone Winter Driving School. He says if you absolutely can’t avoid driving somewhere, slow down and don’t panic if you lose traction. 

"It's very common when you're on a low-traction surface, that if one control didn't work — say, steering — that you automatically just add in another control, like braking, which makes the likelihood of either of those two controls working well diminish significantly," Spitzner said.

You can check your speed by quickly braking for a second on a straight road with no cars behind you. If the brakes lock up, you’re driving too fast.

Any buildup of snow or ice can mean a loss of traction, and that means spinning wheels. You’re stuck. Four-wheel drive might help you get out of those jams, but Sptizner warns against putting too much confidence in it.

"Yes, four-wheel drive may be able to keep you from getting stuck and get you going, but do understand that it's not going to help you in terms of stopping or turning the car," Spitzner said.

Winter tires are even better than four-wheel drive in these conditions, but few Oklahomans own a set.