APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — It’s that time of year when snow and ice become regular on the roads, and it turns out, we might be making mistakes when it comes to avoiding a crash.
“A lot of times, vehicles with four-wheel drive, they can get traction quicker and faster. Unfortunately, they don’t stop any faster,” said James Schuessler. “You get a little overconfident sometimes in our all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles and we forget we have to be able to stop.”
Schuessler is a driving instructor for Fox Valley Technical College. His job is to teach police and fire recruits how to be safe behind the wheel.
“If the vehicles start to spin out, bring the hand-over-hand steer in,” he said. You should turn your car in the direction the way the back end is going and that will bring the back end back in line with the vehicle.
If you start to feel a loss of traction, that means you’re going too fast for the conditions you are driving in.
Schuessler says one of the most common mistakes people make is slamming on the brakes. While that might seem like the natural thing to do, it can actually make you lose control of your car faster.
Sometimes a crash is inevitable, and there’s one thing to do if you cannot avoid it.
“The best thing you can do is to brace for it,” Schuessler said “Try to control your vehicle. If you’re able to get a little steering and try to minimize that. Hitting a ditch is much different than hitting a vehicle in front of you.”
The old adage of keeping enough space between you and the car in front of you also applies, no matter the time of year.