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Winter is Here! Michigan Snow Driving Tips


The State of Michigan has never been remiss in providing driving safety tips for drivers in the area. Whether you are a driver in Michigan or just passing through, this article aims to share what the State of Michigan has shared in terms of driver safety during snowy conditions in Michigan.

Tips On Driving a Four-Wheel Drive

If you live in the State of Michigan, you are probably considering driving a four-wheel drive. This is to make sure that you can still drive safely during the winter. Of course, this is a possibility but the important thing to remember now is that there are still some things that you should know about driving a four-wheel drive in snow.

They are less likely to slip

Michigan State has already declared that four-wheel drives are less likely to slip in snowy conditions. The website provides the following information: “Front-wheel-drive (FWD), all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles are less likely to slip during acceleration than a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle. However, FWD, AWD, and 4WD vehicles are just as difficult to stop and turn on wintry roads as RWD vehicles.”

For the regular driver, this means that even if you know how trusty and reliable your four-wheel drive can be, it helps for you to keep in mind that you should drive it more carefully.

You should still focus

The State website provides the following information “Because FWD, AWD, and 4WD vehicles are less likely to slip during acceleration, their drivers may not recognize dangerous road conditions until they try to stop or turn—and by then they may be driving too fast to stop safely.”

A hundred percent attention is important in times when you are driving in snow. Even if you have a reliable piece of equipment, things may still happen out of your control. You should still focus on what matters and keep in mind that you should never let driving be a secondary task while you are behind the wheel.

Tips from the Michigan State Police

The Michigan State Police provides the following tips when driving in Michigan, under snowy conditions:

  • Don’t make any sudden moves. Accelerate and brake smoothly and gradually — no stomping on the brake or gas pedal.
  • Steer into a skid. If your vehicle begins to skid, first take your foot off the accelerator. Then steer in the same direction the rear of your car is sliding. In other words, if the rear end of your car is swinging to the right, turn your steering wheel to the right. Don’t steer violently, or you’ll just skid in the opposite direction.  
  • Work on your ABS. With an antilock braking system (ABS), when your car skids and you step on the brakes, you may feel a pulsing sensation. This is normal—do not let up on the brakes! ABS will prevent your wheels from locking during a skid, giving you greater steering control. It will not help you stop more quickly, however. So, keep driving slow on ice and snow. 
  • Don’t cruise. Using cruise control on ice and snow can be dangerous. If your car skids, the cruise control will accelerate to maintain a constant speed —spinning your wheels even faster and increasing the chance you will lose control of your vehicle.
  • Keep the lights low. If you’re driving in snow, rain, or fog, reduce reflective glare by putting your headlights on low beam.

These are direct from the Michigan State Police tips so there is no room for interpretation, especially since it is about safety.

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