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Tips for driving in winter weather from a Kentucky driving instructor

Winter driving snow
Posted at 6:50 AM, Dec 22, 2022

(LEX 18) — An instructor with the Bluegrass Driving Academy says to avoid driving once temperatures start dramatically dropping and snow begins falling Thursday. If you do have to drive, Dan Melcher shared some tips about how you can drive safely.

The key to staying safe is increasing your following distance behind other cars, allowing for more time to get to your destination, and not taking chances while driving. With the winter storm conditions, he said your following distance should be 8 to 10 seconds.

“You don’t want to hit your breaks because if the person in front of you has to stop suddenly for some reason, and you’re too close, you’re just going to slide right into the rear [of their car],” Melcher said.

It’s important to start slowing down more earlier than you would otherwise ahead of a turn or other point where you need to come to a stop, he said.

In general, you can follow the rule of driving slower.

He also says you may not be able to see ice on the roads. To help driving on those slippery services, he says to avoid jerky movement, staying in a straight line whenever possible.

If you do start skidding, he said the smartest thing to do is turn into your skid. He said it may very well likely not be helpful to use your brakes.

“You’re just going to keep sliding,” Melcher said. “What you want to do is let off your accelerator, turn into your skid, and hopefully the car will slide right back.”

If you are driving a long distance, such as heading somewhere for Christmas, Melcher said this isn't the time to be going 75 miles an hour on an ice-covered highway. He added that bridges and overpasses freeze before roads do.