Tips to Avoid Auto Collisions On Snowy Roads

A white toyota vehicle is driving in a snow storm

Driving in snowy conditions can be a very slippery subject. Even seasoned drivers who live in parts of the country with harsh winters can have a hard time driving on snowy surfaces. These less than desirable weather conditions cause slippery roads and are a factor in half a million crashes according to AAA

While staying at home would be the ideal scenario during these conditions, sometimes staying put is not an option. Thankfully, car technology such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Antilock Braking System (ABS) has been implemented over the years improving vehicle responsiveness and safety. With that technology in mind, here are some helpful tips to make sure you get to your destination safely next time you’re on the road in snowy conditions.

Get the Right Tires

Snow or winter tires will be your best friend when driving in inclement weather. Although not everyone needs winter tires, if you live in an area where snowy surfaces are common it will be your best bet. This is because winter tires are designed to cut through snow and better grip the road. Additionally, the tread is formulated to be softer and grabs the asphalt more effectively in cold weather, according to Wired.

Slow Down and Look Ahead

While this tip can be applied to anytime you’re on the road, it is especially important during snowy conditions. Look ahead to anticipate your next moves and not make sudden, jerky movements, which could make you lose control of your vehicle. According to Car and Driver, you should allow double the stopping distance when the road is wet, triple on snow, and even more on ice.

Make Use of Your ABS System

ABS systems have been included in every car since 2012 and this system will come in handy if you have to brake in snowy or icy conditions. To engage your ABS system all you have to do is press down on the pedal and do not let go. The great thing about this system is that the computer will adjust the braking force at each wheel to allow you to maneuver while simultaneously slowing down.

Do Not Rely On AWD

AWD’s primary role is to provide forward traction. It will not help when it comes to cornering or stopping since deceleration is much more difficult in harsh conditions. This leaves many drivers with a false sense of security thinking their AWD abilities exceed what it can actually accomplish.

Do Not Panic During Skids

Although easier said than done, try not to panic or make any movements that will make you lose further control of your car when skidding. Instead, try to follow these steps from Car and Driver

For a front-wheel skid, do not hit the brakes, instead, take your foot off the pedals and wait for the front tires to regain traction. Then steer your car in the direction you want to go in.

For a rear-wheel skid, again, do not hit the brakes but quickly steer in the direction your car is sliding too. Do not try to overcorrect and steer in the opposite direction.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Keep an emergency kit in your car with essentials (blankets, first aid kit, food, water, flashlights, etc.) in case you have to stay in your car on the side of the road until the storm passes 
  • Keep your headlights clear of snow to increase visibility
  • Make sure your wipers are in good condition
  • Check that snow is not blocking the exhaust as carbon monoxide can make it’s way back inside the car
  • If you can and are willing to, find an empty lot where you can practice your steering during skids and learn when and how to use your ABS systems. But always be safe

Ric’s Body & Paint Can Restore Your Car

If you’ve suffered a car collision while driving in harsh winter conditions, Ric’s Body & Paint is here for you. Whether it is minor dents or major damage, our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts to the manufacturer’s specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of collision repair services.

Ensuring Customer and Vehicle Safety During the COVID-19 Crisis

Providing A Safe Experience

We know the COVID-19 crisis has been a major concern for most people around the world. As such we are committed to providing our customers the same quality collision repair service we always have, but with added precautions to make sure they, as well as our employees, remain safe from the virus. That is why we wanted to share ways we ensure efficient vehicle safety, while maintaining our customers and employee’s health.

Working At Your Comfort Level

We understand that everyone deserves to feel safe and remain healthy. If a customer is at an extreme level of discomfort we will work with you individually to find a situation that works.

If you have a moderate concern we would be happy to come out to you in your vehicle. You may call us from your vehicle; we will come out and complete an estimate while they wait in their car. After the estimate is completed, we can email you the details for your record.

If you are comfortable coming in, our shop is open. We do have social distancing measures in place inside as recommended by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). 

Keeping a Safe Distance

If you are scheduled for a collision repair, come in or call us when you arrive. One of our service managers will go over the repairs with you. To be prepared, please bring a pen of your own to sign our authorization forms. At pick up, come in to finish up paperwork or give us a call and we will meet you in front of the doors.  We are able to take payment with our mobile credit card machine. Once finalized, we will give you a receipt and go over the repairs completed on their vehicle all while keeping a safe distance.

Estimate and Repair 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we prefer to touch base with each customer to make sure that we understand the extent of your repair and are able to answer any questions you may have. We would complete an estimate then we get you scheduled for the repairs.  We do this so we can order parts and have them here at your scheduled drop off. At drop off our technicians will go over the car once more and get our authorization form signed before starting a repair. Your vehicle will be assigned to one of our technicians who will keep you informed throughout the repair process. After we have serviced your vehicle, one of our representatives will make the appropriate arrangements with you for pick up.

Increased Frequency of Cleaning and Sanitizing

Throughout the day our employees go through the shop to clean and disinfect the most frequently used areas and tools. We recommend for all customers to remove all personal belongings from their vehicle before dropping it off. This includes phone chargers, garage door openers, backpacks, glasses, etc. We will also disinfect the vehicle as soon as it is dropped off and again once it is picked up. 

Reinforce Existing Health Protocols

We require all employees to wash their hands as much as possible to follow the CDC handwashing guidelines, which involves washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Our shop team will continue to utilize seat covers, steering wheel covers, floor mats, and wipe down door and gear shift handles with sanitizer before the vehicle is picked up. We also make sure all employees who are ill stay home to prevent others from getting sick.

Auto repair doesn’t stop for a crisis. That is why Ric’s Body & Paint technically enabled staff will continue to serve every one’s auto body and vehicle safety needs during this time. Like everyone else, we want nothing more than for things to return to normal, but until then precautions must be put into place to protect our customers and employees from possible contagion. Let us know how we can make the appropriate arrangements to better serve you and your vehicle needs!